Over 23,920 people of Sukkur displaced & 50 villages inundated in Pano Aqil

Jamil Khan
SUKKUR: In early Morning of Saturday whole of Pano Akil would submerge in floodwater. Numerous settlements in the vicinity of Guddu barrage have been inundated with water. Crops stretched over hundreds of acres have been obliterated and people have left their houses to rescue themselves.

Dozens of villages in Pano Akil and Ghotki submerged in floodwater. Land communication to many areas has also been disrupted. 29 villages in Qadirpur have been affected and 49000 acres of land drowned in the floodwater.

Water torrent has engulfed many settlements in Khairpur and Noshero Feroze. Water level at Sukkur barrage has reached up to 222780 cusecs and has endangered millions of settlements.A huge area of South Punjab is still under water

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Friday directed the provincial governments to invest more for preventing floods in future, and to save huge compensation paid for losses to the flood-hit population.

“The prevention of floods must be given more attention in future. I ask the experts from Sindh and Punjab to devise a coordinated strategy for preventing flood. When flood hits, we pay compensation for losses of houses, crops and cattle that costs a lot of money,” the prime minister commented at a briefing given to him during his visit to Sukkur Barrage to examine relief operation there.

He said the protection of life and property was the foremost priority of the government. The prime minister said the people of Sindh must be thankful to Allah Almighty for being safe from the feared high flood magnitude that could have caused huge destruction.

He said the government had mobilised all available resources for providing relief to the flood-hit people and lauded the courage of the affected population.The prime minister said sufficient resources should be available to protect houses and dykes.

Sindh Chief Secretary Sajjad Saleem Hotiana and Secretary Irrigation Babar Hussain Effendi briefed the prime minister on the flood situation, losses to houses, crops and cattle caused by floods and the ongoing relief activities.

The Chief Secretary said that due to decline in pressure and the volume of floodwater coming from upstream, Sindh was in a safe position.

Secretary Irrigation apprised the prime minister that the flood had affected 87,585 people and 29300 cattle, while it inundated 146,625 acres of land in Sindh.

He said the flood had hit around 251 villages of Katcha area and the affected people had been provided 800 camps. He said that 15 relief camps had been established housing around 21,300 flood-hit people.

Effendi said that 23,920 people had been shifted to safe places, and medical camps for flood-affected population had been set up.

Secretary Irrigation said that rural areas including Kashmore, Kandhkot, Shikarpur, Sukkur, Khairpur, Naushero Feroze were at a high risk of damage by floods. He said 23,920 people of Sukkur including 16,560 people from Pano Aqil taluka, 4,280 people from Rohri taluka had been shifted to safer locations.

He also apprised the prime minister about the volume of water approaching Sukkur, Gudu and Kotri Barrages as well as the discharge of water. Effendi said the machinery as well as the manpower was available at every sensitive point and all the embankments of River Indus had been raised and strengthened to sustain high-level flood.

He informed the prime minister that more than 1.2 million cusecs water had passed from Sukkur Barrage in 2010 and it was strong enough to sustain the pressure of the upcoming flood.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah apprised the prime minister that round the clock monitoring of all embankments was being conducted. He said he was personally monitoring the whole situation and all embankments had been made stronger to sustain the pressure of high flood.

Earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, provincial ministers, PML-N leaders including MNA Marvi Memon, PML-N Vice President Saleem Zia and top officials welcomed the prime minister at Sukkur Airport.