Punjab Chief Secretary Khizar Hayyat Gondal has directed officials to put in place necessary arrangements to respond to emergencies triggered by monsoon rains.
While chairing a meeting on Sunday to review arrangements to cope with emergencies, especially flooding of the Nullah Leh, he said all departments should remain alert to undertake rescue operations at the time of emergency. He also asked to point out gaps so losses in case of flooding could be minimised.
The meeting was also attended by Rawalpindi Commissioner Zahid Saeed, District Coordination Officer Sajad Zafar Dall, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority director-general and other officials.
The chief secretary while reviewing the previous experiences of floods in Nullah Leh and keeping in view forecasts of the Metrological Department said other options to divert the channel should also be analysed and adopted. He directed the managing-director of the Water and Sanitation Agency to prepare a report about the alternative plan so it could be properly reviewed.
Saeed told the meeting that when rainwater starts reaching optimum level in Nullah Leh, alert warnings are issued to alert people livings across the banks and low-lying areas of Rawalpindi.
He said if the situation reaches the ‘danger’ level, the process of evacuation starts to shift people to safer places. He said arrangements have been made to establish relief camps, medical centres and provision of eatables in case of an emergency.
The commissioner further said mock exercise had also been done to test the working of various departments and organisations. Similarly, flood control centres have also been established in at different places, which will keep a liaison with the Metrological Department to monitor the situation during the monsoon season.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2015.
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