Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday ordered that arrangements be finalised to cope with possible floods during the monsoon season.
“The arrangements should be better than those made last year. I will monitor activities of the departments concerned in this regard,” the chief minster told a meeting at Civil Secretariat through video link.
He said the Cabinet Committee on Flood Relief should immediately implement the decisions made to deal with floods. He said it was the responsibility of both federal and provincial departments concerned to take appropriate steps to face any emergency.
Sharif asked members of the committee to inspect arrangements made in various areas. “They should inspect embankments on all the rivers and water channels,” he said. He ordered that weather situation and water flow in the rivers be monitored round the clock.
He asked the committee to make sure that there were adequate stocks of medicines and equipment available in all flood-prone areas. Boats and dewatering sets should be in working condition, he said. It was the committee’s responsibility to provide clean drinking water and fodder in flood-hit areas, he said.
The chief minister said encroachments along flood drains and on riverbeds should be removed. The district administrations should ensure this with help from police whereas necessary, he said. He asked the participants of the meeting to devise a system for sharing flood data with the federal government. He said a third-party audit would be held to evaluate arrangements being made by the committee.
Sharif said repair of flood drains in Sialkot should be carried out at the earliest. Earlier, officials from various federal and provincial departments briefed the meeting on the weather situation, water levels in the rivers and arrangements made to deal with floods.
Provincial Ministers Rana Sanaullah, Shuja Khanzada, Farrukh Javed, Yawar Zaman, Muhammad Shafiq, Bilal Yasin and Ayesha Ghaus Pasha; Adviser to Chief Minsiter on Health Khwaja Salman Rafique; MPA Zaeem Hussain Qadri; the railways secretary; the National Disaster Management Authority chairman and the Meteorological Department director general attended the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2015.