SUKKUR: People living in the Katcha Bunder area will be forced to evacuate Tuesday if they don’t leave voluntarily until then, said Sukkur deputy district officer revenue Sumair Syed.
The district administration has issued the people notices and asked them to move to relief camps at the Government Islamia Arts and Commerce College, Government High School and Government Main Primary School in Sukkur.
On Monday, the district administration announced its plans to disconnect the electricity and gas supply to the Katcha Bunder area to minimise casualties, sources said. Sukkur DCO Inamullah Dharejo also imposed section 144 across the district to force people to move to safer areas. Sources added, however, that these were just “pressure-building tactics” to convince the residents of Katcha Bunder to move to the relief camps - something that the residents of Rohri have already started doing.
They also claimed that despite the fear of the flash floods, people are scared of losing their homes and not being allowed to rebuild them in the katcha areas once the situation is back to normal.
Residents of the Zahid Shaikh, Ismail Shaikh, Bahadur Jatoi, Bahawal Jatoi, Lakhan Jgirani, Naib Dharejo, Abdul Wahid Buriro, Khan Mohammad Bharo and Lal Bharo villages have started moving to relief camps established near the protective bank of the river after it was revealed that around 30 villages in Rohri stand to be affected. Each of these villages was home to around 20 to 25 families.
The Sadhuja, Raza Goth, Khaderi, Jhangro, Gudpur and Qadrapur police stations have also been shifted near the relief camps to ensure that the police records are safe as well as to provide security to the villagers headed towards these relief camps.
The district administration of Rohri has also sealed all drainage outlets that open into the River Indus and has instead started pumping water out of the drains into the river after a considerable rise in the level of water was recorded near Rohri. Sources said that this was done to stop the river water from coursing its way into the district through the drainage outlets.
Meanwhile, water levels at the three barrages in Sindh are constantly on the rise. The upsteam at the Guddu barrage was recorded at 297,646 cusecs on Monday while the downstream was recorded at 286,400 cusecs. Similarly, the upstream at the Sukkur Barrage was 209,000 cusecs and downstream was 176,000 cusecs while the upstream at the Kotri barrage was 120,900 cusecs and downstream was 105,900 cusecs.
It is expected that the flash floods - carrying more than 900,000 cusecs of water - will reach the Guddu barrage late Tuesday night and Sukkur barrage three days later. The water will then move towards the Kotri barrage and is expected to reach the area on August 10.
Sukkur Barrage executive engineer Zareef Khero told The Express Tribune that Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah is expected to visit Sukkur and camp in the area till the flash floods pass through the Sukkur barrage. The authorities have banned journalists from visiting the Sukkur barrage or its offices due to this expected visit.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2010.
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