Thursday September 23, 2021

Cabinet committee reviews floods preparedness

July 29, 2021

LAHORE:A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Disaster Management chaired by Provincial Minister Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti and the Chief Secretary Punjab Jawad Rafique Malik reviewed the arrangements for dealing with possible floods and the situation caused by monsoon rains.

Expressing concern over the increase in drowning incidents in different cities in the last few days, the meeting decided to ban bathing in all rivers and streams throughout the province to prevent such incidents. Addressing the meeting, Provincial Minister Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti said that with better planning, natural calamities like floods could be dealt with effectively. The departments should pay special attention to enhance their capacity to cope with natural disasters, he remarked.

Asking all the relevant departments to remain alert during the monsoon season, the Chief Secretary said that a strategy should be formulated to prevent the occurrence of roof collapse and electrocution incidents during rains. He also directed the director general of Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) to submit a report on the survey of dilapidated buildings. The Chief Secretary said that the implementation of directions regarding removal of encroachments along the rivers and streams should be ensured and the deputy commissioners should personally inspect the dykes in the districts vulnerable to floods.

There was a need to enhance coordination between the provincial and federal departments for effective monitoring of weather conditions and rivers’ flow, he said. The senior member board of revenue told the meeting that there was no flood situation in any river or stream in the province at present. He mentioned that water in Nullah Lai in Rawalpindi reached an alarming level of 21 feet on Wednesday morning but now it has come down below 10 feet. The meeting was briefed that the PDMA is in contact with all the departments and boats, relief goods and other essential items have been provided to all the districts as per their demand.

About the weather conditions, the Chief Meteorologist said that rains are expected in some parts of Upper and Central Punjab during the next 24 hours and the current system of monsoon would persist for the next 24 to 36 hours.

The senior member board of revenue, administrative secretaries of different departments including irrigation, communication and works, and planning and development, director generals of Rescue 1122, PDMA, public relations and deputy commissioner Narowal attended the meeting while the commissioner Rawalpindi division and deputy commissioners of Jhelum, Khushab and DG Khan participated through video link.