SAHIWAL: Increasing water level in river Ravi has started erosion along the left bank where three villages – Shamand Baloch, Dad Baloch and Karma Baloch – are located.

Though the district administration has issued an alert, villagers are not taking the warning seriously. They rather demand a permanent solution of to this issue by constructing a new embankment.

Irrigation SE Faisal Rasheed confirmed erosion. Assistant Commissioner Sarmad Hussain who visited the area told Dawn in case of further increase in river flow, the administration would have to evict villagers by force. He said the irrigation staff had done some local solutions to strengthen the left embankment.

Mr Faisal said the present flow of around 24,000 cusec was not alarming but more rain could accelerate erosion. He said the Ravi had the history of changing its course.

Presently, he said, the river thrust was on the left side, some 500 meters ahead of Qutab Shahana bridge where these villages are located.

In September 2014, around 21 villages located on the left side of the river were got vacated by local administration following a medium-level flood of 80,000 cusecs.

DC Babar Bashir visited the villages on Thursday and directed the irrigation department to draw a proposal for a permanent solution.

The SE said the irrigation department had already prepared a technical proposal for stopping further erosion and funds were awaited.

The Rescue 1122 has established a flood relief camp at Shamand Baloch.

Faisal Rasheed said as river Ravi water flow remained minimum throughout the year, villagers of low-lying areas illegally cultivated crops within the river bed.

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2021

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