SUKKUR: As water discharge at Guddu barrage crossed 400,000 cusecs, the irrigation authorities have started strengthening KK and Old Tori bunds to avoid any possible mishap.
Pano Aqil Cantonment general officer commanding (GOC) Muhammad Arif Waraich, Sindh irrigation secretary Zaheer Haider Shah and the director-general of Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), Salman Shah, visited the Qadirpur loop and Shaink bunds near Ghotki, where a tent city, along with a medical camp and veterinary facility, has been established.
The GOC asked the district administration to shift the residents of the katcha areas to the relief camps. However, he was told that the residents had refused to leave their homes as, according to them, the water level is not posing any threat to them. In Ghotki, some parts of the katcha have been surrounded by the water but the villagers, who were not ready to leave their homes during the 2010 floods, are again not ready to evacuate, out of fear of theft of valuables and livestock.
Meanwhile, sources in Kandhkot-Kashmore said that the irrigation secretary visited the Old Tori and KK Bund on Thusrday that, according to him, are vulnerable. Ruling out high floods, the secretary said that more or less 500,000 cusecs water is expected to pass through Guddu barrage. He added that it will not pose any threat and will only inundate some parts of the katcha. He advised the residents of the katcha to leave their houses and shift to relief camps.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, PDMA director-general said that the situation of the bunds is normal and there is nothing to worry about. He also appealed to the media not to create hype about the situation. He said that so far 48 families from the katcha areas have been shifted to the relief camps in Ghotki while 18 families have been shifted to the relief camps in Kandhkot. "Besides providing tents, we have also provided mosquito nets and other essential relief goods to the displaced families," he said.
According to Sukkur commissioner Muhammad Abbas Baloch, the administration has established camps at Ali Wahan near Sukkur and Ulra Jagir bund near Pir Jo Goth in Khairpur district but not a single family from the katcha has moved to the camps as yet. "With the collaboration of the PDMA, we have provided all the required facilities in the relief camps, including medical facility for the people and their livestock," he said. "Besides this, we will also provide them dry ration for one week after verifying their place of residence."
On Thursday, the upstream at Guddu barrage was recorded at 424,298 cusecs while the downstream was 400,608 cusecs. At Sukkur barrage, the upstream was 301,330 cusecs and downstream was 249,655 cusecs and at Kotri barrage, the upstream was 116,000 cusecs and downstream was 94,400 cusecs. Meanwhile, the PDMA has issued warning about torrential rains throughout Sindh from Thursday and has asked the residents to take precautionary measures to avoid any loss.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2015.