LAHORE: Despite repeated scare, the river Ravi was flowing at 29,000 cusecs and had a normal look on Wednesday.

According to the Flood Forecasting Division officials, though India is reported to have released 171,000 cusecs of water in two days, the dry bed phenomenon worked in favour of Pakistan and only 29,000 cusecs arrived at Shahdara on Wednesday.

In the dry bed, which had been so for decades now, three factors naturally control flood. “Speed of flow drops, massive quantity of water is lost in quenching riverbed’s thirst and duration of water flow increases. It is precisely for this reason, flow in the Ravi at Shahdara is completely normal. To put the flow in context, the bridge on the Ravi at Shahdara is designed for 235,000 cusecs and Wednesday’s flow is a paltry 29,000 cusecs.

“The department measured 63,000 cusecs at Kot Naina where it enters into the country and more than half of it was lost in the next 160 kilometres by the time it reached Shahdara,” it said.

“The current panic is not about river water breaking its banks and entering some towns but saving those residing in the riverbanks. The river passage now houses living structures and, even, factories and the district administration is panicking to save them, regardless of the fact how they built houses and factories in the riverbed in the first place. The only solution to deal with the situation is to evacuate these people, not constructing more structures to save them. That is what needs to be done.”

Meanwhile, according to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, its head and staff visited the flood-affected areas of Dera Ghazi Khan. On this occasion, the Relief Commissioner Punjab said there was no shortage of funds for the relief operation and rehabilitation of the flood victims. All institutions were working day and night for providing relief. This year, the floodwaters of the river and mountains had broken their previous records and two more days of rain had been predicted, he said.

He said flood relief camps had been established in the affected areas.

Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2022

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