The administration should start rescue and relief operations in flood-affected areas of southern Punjab on a war-footing, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Tuesday.
He was addressing the Cabinet Committee on Flood through video link from London.
“The local administrations should maintain stocks of medicines, edibles and bottled water in sufficient quantity at all relief camps. All steps should be taken to address the problems facing the affected people. The government will not abandon citizens during a natural calamity,” he said.
The chief minister directed the cabinet committee to ensure the evacuation of people living in low-lying areas near rivers. “More rescue boats should be sent to the flood-affected areas of southern Punjab. All government departments should coordinate their efforts to help the affected people,” he said.
The chief minister said that he would personally monitor relief activities.
Taking notice of reports of inundation of villages in Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur and Layyah districts, the chief minister directed the committee to visit the affected areas. “Administration and rescue officials should take all steps to reach the flood-affected villages. Steps should be taken to ensure that the affected people are accommodated in relief camps,” he said.
“Now is not the time to sit in offices or at home. It is the time to visit our brethren who have been affected by floods,” he said.
The chief minister said that all government departments should monitor the weather and water levels in rivers and take steps when necessary. “The flood emergency plan formulated earlier should be strictly implemented,” he said.
Rahim Yar Khan
The CM addressed a meeting of the Rahim Yar Khan district administration through video link on Tuesday. He directed the officials to take all steps to ensure the safety of major river embankments and bunds.
“When water level starts rising in a particular area, the people living in the adjoining villages should be immediately warned. In case of a breach, the population should be evacuated to safety,” he said.
He said that relief camps should be set up in areas adjoining rivers. Rahim Yar Khan DCO Captain (r) Muhammad Zafar Iqbal said that flood warnings had been issued in areas located along the river. He said the situation was not critical. He said that the district administration was ready to deal with any flooding.
Chief Secretary Khizar Hayat Gondal directed the district administrations to remain vigilant in view of potential floods.
He was presiding over a meeting to review the flood situation at the Civil Secretariat. He said that several areas in the province were facing low floods. “An increase is being witnessed in the water level in rivers after the recent rains,” he said. He said that the situation was under control in all the districts and there had been no report of loss life. NNI
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2015.