Officials asked to visit flood protective embankments

KARACHI: Divisional Commissioner Hyderabad Jamal Mustafa Syed has directed all the Deputy Commissioners and Irrigation Officers of his Division to undertake joint visit of the flood protective embankments of their areas and ensure that these bunds are safe and strong enough to sustain the pressure of expected flood in 2013.

This he directed while presiding over high level meeting to review flood fighting measures held at Shahbaz Hall, Shahbaz Building Hyderabad Wednesday. All the Deputy Commissioners of the district fallen in Hyderabad Division, Chief Engineer Sukkur Barrage Ahmed Junaid Memon, Chief Engineer Kotri Barrage Sulman Memon. S.E. Irrigation Kotri Barrage Abdul Qadir Palejo, MD SIDA Ahsan Leghari, Director Left Bank SIDA Habibur Rehman Ursani, Administrator HMC Syed Barkat Rizvi, S.E. HESCO Abdul Sattar Soho, MD WASA Saleemuddin, Director Highways, other representatives from PDMA, PTCL and Health Department attended the meeting.

Addressing the meeting, the Divisional Commissioner Hyderabad Jamal Mustafa Syed directed the Deputy Commissioners to prepare their contingency plans, each for relief, rescue and evacuation of the people from Katcha areas and deteriorated / dangerous buildings in case of heavy rainfall and flash flood. He also strictly directed to the Deputy Commissioners to maintain their inventory of the machinery available to them and also to ensure that the water pumping machines which were provided in 2010 and subsequently handed over to TMAs is available. He said that in case of missing, the same should be recovered, failing which FIRs be lodged against occupants.

Taking the serious notice of the report, presented in the meeting that in Thatta District downstream the Sujawal at least 15 metalled roads towards katcha areas have been crossed by lowering the height cuts of the river bund, thus to pose threat in case of heavy flood, the Divisional Commissioner directed the Deputy Commissioner Thatta to visit these places with the officers of Irrigation Department and in case of threat to big populations, these cuts / gaps in between two ends of embankments be plugged and level of the embankment be maintained. Similarly, he also took serious notice of reservation made by Chief Engineer Irrigation about the handmade cuts in river embankments by the villagers of katcha area along with Indus River and directed the DCs to identify and get these cuts plugged with immediate effect.

The Divisional Commissioner directed the management of Sindh Irrigation Drainage Authority SIDA to rehabilitate the LBOD network specially KPOD from its Zero point upto R.D 95 and remove the debris of collapsed bridge and complete the ongoing construction of another bridge on KPOD to avoid any hurdle in the way of flood water. The Divisional Commissioner Hyderabad Jamal Mustafa Syed was of the view that instead of satisfactory remarks of Sindh Irrigation Department and other concerned agencies, there was still room of improvement and strict vigilance is needed specially for strengthening of F.P. Bund, Soorjani Bund, MNV Drain and LBOD network.

The Chief Engineer Sukkur Barrage Mr. Ahmed Junaid Memon while briefing the meeting said that the river embankments as compared to 2010 have been made more strengthened. He said that these embankments have been raised 6 feet above
the 2010 flood gauge with stone pitching at sensitive portions. He said that the required machinery and Abkalani material has already been made available at all historical vulnerable points of all embankments. He said that his force would be mobilized at the river embankments soon after start of flood in the river and added that in case of medium flood, landhies
monitoring huts be established on embankments of Indus River after every mile with communication facilities. However, he advised the people not to close their Modules / Regulators of watercourses, water channels in case of heavy flood or rainfall, as this act can cause damage to the canals in upstream.

The MD SIDA Ahsan Leghari while briefing the meeting said that rehabilitation of tidal link was technically not possible under the short term methodology. However, he said that the portions and problems identified by Divisional Commissioner Hyderabad during his visit in KPOD were being resolved and the work in this regard would be completed within a week time.

The representative from WAPDA informed the meeting that all the cuts made in the MNV drain under their control have been plugged and the Regulator of MNV is repaired. He said that though MNV drainage capacity was 3500 cusec but during the flood of 2010 it passed three time more flood water from the area.

The Administrator HMC Syed Barkat Rizvi informed the meeting that desilting of sewerage Nalas, surface and subsurface drainage lines was in progress. He said that the encroachment on sewerage Nalas was the issue and that creating hurdles in the disposal of storm water. He also sought for special allocation to meet out the monsoon challenges.

Deputy Commissioner Hyderabad Mohammad Nawaz Soho said that the embankments of the Indus River passing from his district was strong enough and satisfactory, however, he expressed his apprehensions that in case missing pumping machines are not recovered or rusted and out of order machinery is not repaired, the low lying areas of Hyderabad district could be inundated in heavy rainfall. He said that the encroachment inside the Guddu Bund has narrowed the bed of Indus River and it must be removed on priority basis.

The Deputy Commissioners from other districts of the division almost expressed their satisfaction over the strengthening position of the embankments of the River passing from their areas. They also presented the reports of their visits, observations and recommendations about the flood fighting measures in the meeting.

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