QUETTA: Standing crops suffered a loss of Rs18 billion after torrential rains and heavy floods devastated about 19 per cent areas of Nasirabad and Jaffarabad districts in Balochistan.
This was disclosed at a meeting held in Dera Murad Jamali to review the flood situation in the two districts.
The meeting observed that the irrigation system had been badly affected in the districts because two main canals and their distributaries irrigating millions of acres of land were damaged. Breaches in the canals at various points also caused heavy floods in many areas.
Presided over by Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad, the meeting was attended by provincial ministers Mir Sadiq Ali Umrani and Sardar Aslam Bizenjo, Commissioner of Nasirabad division Shaharyar Sultan, Irrigation Secretary Aslam Shakir and other officials concerned.
Sources said the meeting was informed that work to repair the damaged canals had been started and water supply to main Pat Feeder Canal from Guddu Barrage would be restored for drinking purposes till Oct 15.
“Dera Murad Jamali town has drinking water reserves for only 15 days,” the irrigation secretary told the meeting. He said the rehabilitation and repair of the two main canals would cost at least Rs7.50 billion.
The meeting decided to seek funds from the federal government for the purpose.
The irrigation secretary said standing crops on 1.3 million acres of land were affected in the two districts, causing a loss of about Rs18 billion to farmers and growers.
The Nasirabad commissioner said Jhal Magsi and Kachhi districts had also been affected by the rains and flooding. He said the provincial disaster management authority was dispatching 50 truckloads of food and other relief items to the affected areas through helicopters and boats.
The meeting was further informed that floodwater had started receding in various areas, while the communications department had restored traffic after repairing roads.
The chief secretary said the prime minister would visit the flood-hit areas of Nasirabad and Jaffarabad districts soon.
“We will inform him about the losses caused by floods and request him to provide funds for the rehabilitation work,” he said.