Govt gives Rs440m for flood precautions


Express July 31, 2010

KARACHI: Sindh government has approved around Rs440 million rupees for the protection of bunds (protective embankments) and other expense in the wake of the upcoming flood which is likely to hit the province on August 3.

Officials said that this was decided in a cabinet meeting held in the Chief Minister House on Saturday. During the meeting, the Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah directed all ministers and members of the Sindh Assembly to visit their constituencies in order to monitor the impending flood.  “All the ministers should cancel their inter-provincial and foreign visits and must be available in their constituencies,” he said.

Officials in the government said that during the meeting District Coordination Officers (DCOs) of Sindh gave live presentations through video conference at CM House and explained the precautionary measures being taken from Kashmore to Kotri Barrage.

According to them, the DCOs said that people living in katcha areas have been informed about the flood and the process of shifting them to relief camps set up in schools and other places has begun. They were facing some trouble in those areas where the law and order situation was so bad that the police needed the help of the army to access the areas.

The chief minister directed the IGP Sindh to establish check posts and deploy police and Rangers to monitor the protective bunds on both sides of River Indus.

According to the chief minister, vigilance was required not just to monitor the danger of flooding but also to make sure that nobody tries to destruct the protective bunds in an effort to ‘defame the government’.

During the meeting, officials in the irrigation department said that there are 148 vulnerable places on both sides of the River Indus. Efforts are underway to strengthen these areas. According to the irrigation officials, around 900,000 cusecs of water is expected to hit the province.

“Army has been asked to remain on high alert and we can get their assistance if needed,” CM said.

Officials also said that vigilance teams have been made, which will monitor the flood situation 24 hours a day and will report to flood centres established in every district headquarters.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2010.

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