Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has directed concerned authorities to make timely arrangements for expected heavy monsoon rains and potential floods.
“Although escaping from natural disasters is not possible, the damages they can potentially cause can be reduced through better planning,” he said at a meeting held to review monsoon arrangements at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat on Thursday. The meeting was attended by the director general (DG) of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), the inspector general of Frontier Corps Balochistan, the secretaries of concerned departments and the representative of the Commander Southern Command.
Briefing the meeting, the PDMA DG said heavy monsoon rains could affect more than 20 districts of Balochistan this year. “Naseerabad, Jaffarabad, Subatpur and Jhal Magsi are highly sensitive areas. Sibi, Zhob, Musakhel, Loralai, Barkhan, Kohlu, Harnai, Kachhi, Gwadar, Lasbela, Khuzdar, Ziarat, Qila Saifullah, Sherani and Kalat are sensitive,” he said.
He told the participants that six relief centres have been established to provide immediate relief to those affected by possible flooding and that concerned commissioners have been given Rs1 million to arrange food items immediately in case of disaster. Another Rs500,000 have been given to concerned deputy commissioners for this purpose as well.
Addressing the huddle, Chief Minister Baloch directed all deputy commissioners to summon a meeting of concerned departments in their district today (Friday) and asked them to urgently send reports on flood arrangements to the Chief Minister’s Secretariat. The deputy commissioners were also tasked with establishing flood control rooms urgently.
“Provision of medicines, snake bite vaccines, functioning of hospitals 24 hours and provision of clean drinking water to the affectees should be ensured,” he ordered.
Dr Baloch directed the additional chief secretary (development), secretaries of irrigation, health, communication, PHI, Livestock and departments in high sensitive districts to supervise the relief activities and ensure their presence.
He directed PDMA to establish Control Centre Helpline, adding that past experiences of coping with floods and provisions to the affectees in Naseerabad Division had remained unsatisfactory. He warned that strict action would be taken against concerned officers if they showed any negligence during possible floods.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2015.