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June 20, 2017



CM orders strengthening of protective embankments before monsoon season

CM orders strengthening of protective embankments before monsoon season

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday called for prioritising strengthening of protective bunds and repairing vulnerable points before the start of the monsoon season.

This, he observed while presiding over a disaster risk management meeting held to prepare for floods in the province, at the CM House.

Murad said the Guddu Barrage is the cumulative point from where flood waters from all the rivers of Pakistan pass, falling into the Arabian Sea. Running through a ridge, the River Indus poses a great threat to the province, hence, it is essential that all vulnerable points are strengthened, the CM added.

The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Special Secretary (Tec) Irrigation Junaid Memon, chief engineers Aijaz Shaikh, Irshad Memon, Bahi Khan Lakho, Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority MD Mohammad Khan Lakho among others.

Special Secretary Irrigation Junaid Memon while briefing the chief minister over the flood situation stated that the flood season normally starts from the second week of July and continues till September.

He said that early monsoon light rains have already started upcountry; therefore, there is a chance that there will be low floods.

Giving a synopsis of the situation, Memon observed that as per the weekly weather outlook issued for rive catchments by the Met Office, for June 15 to 21, a trough of westerly wave lies over Kashmir and adjoining areas, whereas a seasonal low lies over Northeast Balochistan.

Scattered dust, moderate rains are expected over upper catchments of all the major rivers from June 19, 2017, but added that there would neither be very heavy rains nor floods in rivers.

Quoting another outlook for summer monsoon, Memon said that consequent upon prevailing ocean and atmospheric conditions, summer monsoon is expected to be normal in the first half and below normal in the second half of the season in Pakistan.

He added that based on statistical and dynamical global circulation models of downstream, there would be area weighted rainfall during monsoon season over Pakistan and is expected to fall short of long term average. However, rainfall would be highly variable over temporal and spatial scale.

According to the outlook, the July monsoon rainfall may range from normal to less than normal rainfall in August and September. There is, however, a high probability of localised rainfalls which could generate flash floods in mountainous and sub-mountainous regions.

Furthermore, localised rainfall coupled with rapid melting in the glaciated regions of Gilgit Baltistan and Chitral may trigger floods.


CM’s directives

Murad directed the irrigation department to make arrangements such as clearance of jungles, levelling, soaking and repair of bunds, identification of borrow pit areas, identification and treatment of leaks, filling of ditches, establishment of flood warning centres, deployment of earth moving machinery, construction of katcha landhies, procurement of abkalyani materials and ensuring patrolling of bunds.

He was told that that during the super floods of 2010 five breaches occurred along the LM Bund. After that, the embankments were raised to six feet above the water level of 2010; the bunds were also stone pitched.

The CM said that the KK Bund at Mile 11 remained vulnerable during floods of 2010. On this the special secretary informed him that stone pitching and stone apron was carried out to strengthen the bund and now it is quite stable.

He added that the KK Link Bund is also vulnerable and is connected with the KK Feeder Bund but the stone apron which was washed out during 2016 floods has now been recouped.

The CM, however, called for establishing necessary vigilance at the KK Feeder Bund.

Murad said the Sukkur Begari Bund from zero to four miles is a defence line as it protects the Sukkur city just behind the bund. On this the chief engineer Sukkur Barrage said that short stone studs have been restored and stone apron up to two miles have been laid down. The bund is now strongly stone pitched.

Mmeon further told the chief minister that necessary machinery at vulnerable points such as the KK Bund, KK Link Bund, KK Feeder Bund, Old Tori Bund and SM Bund have been installed as per flood magnitude prescribed in the bund manual.

The CM directed the irrigation department to provide him with a list of names and contact numbers of officers assigned on emergency duty and patrolling at Flood Emergency Centres.

He directed his principal secretary, Sohail Rajput, to issue necessary directives to divisional commissioners to take precautionary measures before the start of the monsoon season.