Flood warning: Crackdown launched against illegal dykes

DG Khan DCO says district government on high alert.


Our Correspondent July 04, 2012

MULTAN:


The Irrigation and Power Department has launched a crackdown against illegally constructed dykes and embankments in the flood-prone areas of Dera Ghazi Khan division after receiving a low flood warning from the Flood Control Centre.


Irrigation Department officials said that the low flood warning is for River Indus at Kala Bagh and Taunsa Barrage. At the junction of Kala Bagh, the arrival of water, they said, was 218,000 cusecs and the release was 210,000 cusecs. At Taunsa Barrage, they said, the arrival of water was 194,000 cusecs and the release of water was 168,000.

They said the low flood warning has been given to both the Irrigation Department and the district government in the division.

Earlier, District Coordination Officer Iftikhar Sahu told The Express Tribune that all arrangements have been made to deal with any floods. He said the district government was already on alert.

Irrigation Department’s Executive Engineer Chaudhry Habibur Rehman said that the department had so far grounded more than 12 illegal dykes and embankments in the Pand area and nearby areas.

He told The Tribune that the department had also launched an operation against local farmers who had constructed illegal dykes and embankments that would divert any flood towards populated areas.

“We will continue this operation and another on land grab in the division,” he said. He said some farmers had cultivated land or close to river bed that did not belong to them. He also said that the department was coordinating with police and district administration in case of resistance from the feudal lords or farmers. In 2010 floods, illegal dykes constructed in the Pand area had inundated the Dera Ghazi Khan division. Rehman said the area has the capacity to allow a minimum of 1.1 million cusecs of water during the floods. The illegal dykes in this area had led to inundation of four districts of southern Punjab and had caused billions of rupees loss to the people, he added.

He, however, said this was only a precautionary step.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2012.

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