Centre asked to okay funds to rehabilitate flood-hit projects

By Salis bin Perwaiz
June 20, 2024
Stranded people are evacuated on boats from flood affected areas after heavy monsoon rains in Sukkur, Sindh province, on August 27, 2022. — AFP

The Sindh government has written to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) asking them to approve funds for the rehabilitation of the projects damaged in the floods of 2022.


Officials said Sindh Rehabilitation Minister Makhdoom Mehboob-uz-Zaman has written to Federal Water Resources Minister Musadik Malik stressing the need for immediate solutions to avoid possible flood threats due to the expected monsoon rains.

Zaman said that urgent steps are needed to ensure the timely restoration of damaged projects RBOD-I and RBOD-III, adding that the Sindh Irrigation Department has reviewed the PC-I and forwarded it to the federal water resources secretary.

The provincial minister said the federal government has not yet approved the PC-I, adding that this matter is pending, which is a matter of concern for Sindh, since the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has forecast heavy rains this year, so these projects must be completed.

The letter states that during the May 30 meeting held at the PDMA to review the pre-monsoon preparations, the project director of Wapda’s Jacobabad Drainage Project raised concerns about the incomplete repair of the MNV drain that was badly damaged in the 2022 floods.

Moreover, the project director vide his letter dated June 4 has communicated the relevant details, along with the present status. The letter also states that after the completion of the projects, the handing over and taking over process of RBOD-I and RBOD-III was taken up with the Sindh Irrigation Department on November 19, 2020.

All the requisite record of the works was submitted to the project director of SCARP (Salinity Control And Reclamation Project) in February 2021. All the codal formalities regarding the handing and taking over of RBOD-I and RBOD-III projects in Sindh by Wapda with the Sindh Irrigation Department were completed on April 12, 2022.

However, the irrigation department did not take over the completed works of the RBOD-I and RBOD-III projects in Sindh until June 30, 2022, and they were damaged due to torrential rainfall and pluvial floods between July and August, 2022.

As per the decision taken during a high-level meeting chaired by Malik and co-chaired by the Sindh chief minister at the CM House on February 15, 2023, a Joint Flood Assessment was made by Wapda and the irrigation department in March-April, 2023, for the restoration works of both projects.

Accordingly, as per the joint flood assessment, a PC-I amounting to around Rs8.33 billion was submitted to MoWR on June 7, 2023, for approval by the competent forum, and was also uploaded to the Intelligent Project Automation System of the Ministry of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives on June 8, 2023.

After the clearance of the Federal Flood Commission and the compliance with all the observations, the MoWR finally forwarded the PC-I to the Sindh irrigation secretary on January 10, 2024, for furnishing their views and comments in the light of the challenges exposed to RBOD-I and RBOD-III. The letter reads that the irrigation department furnished its comments and review regarding the PC-I to the water resources secretary on February 26, 2024, but its approval is still awaited.

Considering this matter, along with the PMD’s forecast of monsoon rains that may cause flash flooding and result in further aggravation of the situation, the Sindh government has requested that the Centre resolve the matter at top priority to avoid any untoward situation.