JHANG: The government should build a protective dyke along the left bank of the River Jhelum, starting from village Kotla Afghanan straight up to the pond area of Trimmu Headworks, where the river merges into the Chenab, to protect the population from flooding and the land from erosion.

This was stated by Mehr Afzal Sial, three-time president of the Jhang District Bar Association and a resident of village Bhorana.

He said almost two-thirds of the villages had been obliterated by the erosion caused by the river over the year. Bhorana and some 30 other villages along the river are also facing the same situation.

The gushing waters of the river are gulping down thousands of acres from Bhera and Shahpur in district Sargodha to Trimmu Headworks in Jhang. Villages like Kotis Shah, Chatta, Qadirpur Baksha, Sabar, Klera, Kot Khan, Chela, Saliana, Massan and Peer Kot Sadhana are right on the bank of the river.

The water spreads only along the left bank because of the presence of a 1,000 to 1,500 feet high desert called Thal on the right bank. This desert runs parallel to the river from Khushab to Wasu Astana in the vicinity of Trimmu Headworks. This natural obstruction stands very close to the river, at places forming an embankment.

Another reason for this widespread destrection by a relatively small water discharge is the silting at the Trimmu and the construction work going on for the expansion of the headworks causing obstruction to the flow of water downstream. Mr Sail said flood in June was a rarity.

Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2019