HYDERABAD, Aug 15: The Guddu and Sukkur barrages will be in high flood on Aug 19 and 20, respectively, when around 625,000 cusecs of water will be passing through them.
A state of emergency has been declared in the irrigation department. The Guddu barrage’s gauges are showing medium flood while Sukkur has so far been in low flood.
Officials of the Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority, including the irrigation secretary, are inspecting river dykes where major development schemes were executed during the past three years after they were taken in hand in the wake of the 2010 super flood.
Official figures of floodwater discharges indicate that the Guddu barrage had an inflow of 385,325 cusecs upstream and 385,325 cusecs downstream at 6pm on Thursday. This shows that the barrage is passing a medium level flood right now. Figures show that the Sukkur barrage has an inflow of 332,043 cusecs upstream and 316,328 cusecs downstream whereas the Kotri barrage is passing 140,748 cusecs of water downstream after getting 162,348 cusecs upstream.
“We will be in a state of high flood at the Guddu barrage on Aug 19 and after 24 to 36 hours the Sukkur barrage will be passing high flood,” said irrigation secretary Babar Effendi. He is currently visiting the left bank areas of the barrage in upper Sindh. “I think we will be having around 625,000 cusecs of water on Aug 19 at the Guddu barrage which will put us in a state of high flood. But remember if there are rains in the Koh-i-Suleman range during this period then the discharge will increase further,” he said.
Barrage sources who deal with discharge figures told Dawn that the Chashma barrage had passed 566,000 cusecs of water at 6am on Aug 15 and it would reach the Guddu barrage between Aug 19 and 20 after having travelling losses as it takes water around five days or so to reach the Guddu barrage after passing through the Chashma barrage downstream.
The Panjnad barrage has been having 64,000 cusec discharge for the last one week. It would fall into the Indus river at Kot Mithan after 24 hours to cover up for the losses seen between the Chashma and Guddu barrages for water discharge of 566,000 cusecs.
“Our calculations are that 580,000 cusecs to 600,000 cusecs of water discharge will pass through the Guddu barrage on Aug 19,” said the source. He explained that by Aug 22 the water discharge of around 50,000 cusecs to 100,000 cusecs from the Chenab river after passing through Marala, Khanki and Qadirabad would reach upstream the Trimu barrage over the Jehlum river. After passing Panjnad it would enter the Indus at Kot Mithan to take the Indus floodwater flow to 600,000-625,000 cusecs.
But by that time the water discharges would start falling provided there are no rains in the Koh-i-Suleman range between Taunsa and Guddu. He hastened to add that in fact Chenab was having 400,000 cusecs of water until Aug 15 afternoon but the Thursday night reports indicate that it would start falling around midnight on Thursday. “That’s why we expect that the level of high flood will remain there for a few days between Aug 21 and 22 at the Guddu barrage,” he said.
According to Babar Effendi, the river dykes schemes had been completed which were identified in the 2010 super floods. Of the 76 schemes, 71 have been completed and five referred to the Federal Flood Commission for execution. He said he had issued instructions to the irrigation staff to increase patrolling as high flood was to pass through the Sindh barrages.
“We will be setting up our ‘landhis’ [check post of irrigation staff] at every half a mile, which are usually set up one mile apart on the dyke,” he said and added that likewise he had told official to ensure the availability of excavators at every four miles. He added that stocks of stone were being made available.
The secretary said he would visit the Aqil Agani and Nusrat Loop bund in Larkana besides inspecting the Flood Protective bund, which touches Balochistan and gets hill torrents. He said work was under way on the Qadirpur loop bund and the Shank bund in Ghotki district and would be completed soon.
The Guddu barrage’s designed capacity is 1.2 million cusecs. The Sukkur barrage’s capacity was 1.5 million cusecs when it was built in 1932. In 1945 its 10 gates were closed, leaving it with 56 gates with a designed capacity of 900,000 cusecs. The Kotri barrage’s designed capacity is 875,000 cusecs.