As many as 22 people drowned near riverbanks, embankments and barrages in different incidents in south Punjab recently.
Two people drowned in the Indus River on the first day of Eid while bathing near Head Panjnad (Panjnad Barrage) where they had gone for a picnic. Their bodies were recovered a day later by locals and were identified as Irshad Ahmed from a sub district of Vehari and Haq Nawaz from a sub district of Bahawalpur.
Four people drowned in River Sutlej near Islam Barrage on the same day. Two of the bodies were recovered by rescue divers soon after the incident while the other two were recovered by locals later.
In another incident on the second day of Eid, six people drowned after a scuffle broke out in a boat near the banks of the Indus River at Head Panjnad.
Fishermen offered to transport motor bikes and families from the eastern bank of the river to its western bank for a payment of 50 rupees per person during a traffic jam which resulted in road blocks near the adjoining national highway route.
At about 3pm, a fisherman was transporting 12 people including women and children along with four motorcycles when about halfway through the journey an argument erupted between the elders and the youngsters, which resulted in the boat capsizing.
Six people were rescued while the other six are still missing more than 48 hours after the incident.
Three people drowned in Chenab River during a picnic near Head Sidhnai. The victims were all said to be less than 20 years of age. Their bodies have been recovered and handed over to their relatives.
In the last reported incident, seven women drowned in a pond while trying to save a girl near a sub district of Dera Ghazi Khan.
The bodies were recovered with the help of the border military police.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2012.