SUKKUR: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said the provincial government cannot alone tackle the situation caused by devastating rains and the problems which have attained proportions of national level, hence it direly needs help from the federal government.
While Karachi had suffered a great deal in heavy rains but media should also turn its focus to other areas of the province, which had equally borne the brunt of the torrential rains, he said while talking to media persons here on Monday after visiting Sukkur Barrage.
He said the heavy rainfall created a critical situation in rural areas where the entire river water overflowed into settlements. Water flows in the Indus had risen to over 500,000 cusecs at Guddu Barrage this morning, he said.
He said that committees had been formed which were working under the supervision of ministers and members of provincial assembly to inspect protective dykes from Guddu to Kotri barrages. Most areas of the province were affected by recent torrential rains and 20 districts had been declared calamity-hit, he said.
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About existence of zamindari dykes in the riverbed, the chief minister said that at the moment these dykes did not pose any threat but other hurdles would be removed by any means.
He said that the river flows put pressure on embankments from Kashmore to Sukkur barrage, in particular on Tori, KK, Shaink and Qadirpur dykes and structures had been built for their protection.
He said that he had visited all rain-hit areas but media kept sticking to Karachi despite the fact that the situation was more critical in rural areas where floodwaters had displaced thousands of families and caused deaths of 136 people. The prime minister had been informed of the situation in writing, he said.
He said the Sindh government would not leave people alone in their difficult hour.
About law and order situation in the province, Shah said that he was worried about the present conditions, especially in districts of upper Sindh and he was trying to bring the situation under control.
Earlier, the chief minister attended a briefing by officials of irrigation department on flood in the river and the situation at barrages and protective dykes at the office of executive engineer of Sukkur Barrage.
Provincial ministers Syed Awais Qadir Shah, Jam Khan Shoro, Saeed Ghani, Imdad Pitafi, Sharjeel Inam Memon, Syed Farrukh Shah, Sukkur Commissioner Shafiq Ahmed Mahesar, Deputy Commissioner Rana Adeel Tasawur and other officials were also present.
The chief minister earlier paid a visit to Guddu Barrage as well as Tori and Ghora Ghat protective dykes and attended a briefing by officials of irrigation department about ongoing repair works on the protective dykes.
He directed DIG and SSP concerned to provide security to the personnel engaged in repairs of the dykes and said the SSP himself must remain present on the dykes to ensure security to the personnel.
Provincial ministers Mir Shabbir Ali Khan Bijarani, Mukesh Kumar Chawla and leaders of PPP Kandhkot-Kashmore chapter accompanied the chief minister on the visit.
Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2020