LAHORE: A large number of people in Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur districts are at the mercy of floods in the absence of substantial support by the government.

Although the Punjab government, district administrations and Rescue 1122 are putting in efforts to save a maximum number of people from the devastation of floods, the residents on Tuesday cried out against unavailability of food, shelter and medicines. Marooned and helpless, they claimed that they had been carrying out rescue and other activities on their own.

Massive floods have claimed 34 lives besides washing out three tehsils and 300 villages, causing homelessness to millions in Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur during the last two weeks, official data reveals. The main cities and towns affected by rains and floods include Taunsa tehsil, Jampur, Fazilpur, Hajipur and Muhammadpur. The continuous heavy rains and floods also disconnected both districts with other parts of the country as the Indus Highway was submerged by water.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) had issued an alert about the flood, the district and divisional administrations were not available to help the affected. Meanwhile, the breakage of the Indus Highway at Jatwala also caused flooding in several villages and thousands of people were sitting from Kashmor to Taunsa on the road without any shelter in the rain. The people were busy shifting their children and cattle to safe locations while some others were holding protest due to, what they said, noncooperation of the district administrations.

34 people have lost lives in DG Khan, Rajanpur

The residents had been on the road without having enough food and shelter for the last 15 days. They said no one was listening to them. The protesters also said the Rescue 1122 and police officials were helping the people in Taunsa city but there were no officials to provide shelter, food and medicines to them.

Rescue 1122 Regional Director Dr Natiq Hayat told Dawn that the rescue activities were going on and they had rescued around 34,000 people in DG Khan and Rajanpur districts. He said the relief activities were also being carried out by NGOs.

He said the new alert of the PDMA was also issued and still there was a heavy rain in both the districts and they were conducting rescue missions.

JI: Jamaat-i-Islami emir Sirajul Haq said those sitting in the national and provincial assemblies could not hear the screams of mothers, sisters and children from the flood-affected areas.

“Shehbaz Sharif is the prime minister and Imran Khan has governments in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Kashmir but these people have not been able to visit the flood-affected areas. Imran and Shehbaz are fighting against each other,” he said at a demonstration against electricity bills in Muzaffargarh on Tuesday.

Mr Haq said he had been visiting the flood-affected areas in south Punjab for the last three days. The JI leader demanded the government support the people of south Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh. He also sought public support for Al-Khidmat Foundation so that the people of the flood-affected areas could be helped in a better way. DERA GHAZI KHAN: Hundreds of houses were flooded after a rain at Rojhan tehsil in Rajanpur.

The floodwater was quite high at Nai Abadi, Habib Shah, Seiflani Eidgah and other places. Roads and streets also were inundated with water. Army and rescue personnel evacuated the people in the affected areas. Crops spread over vast areas have been washed away.

Meanwhile, a new spell of rain is likely to start in the plains and hilly areas of Dera Ghazi Khan division on Tuesday night. There is a risk of flooding in the mountain drains of Sulaiman Range. The areas most vulnerable to flooding are Mathwan, Bathi, Koda, Wahowa, Sanghar, Surilound and Vidoor.

BAHAWALPUR: All the government departments related to the anti-flood measures have been directed to be alert to meet any eventuality arising out of the heavy rains and rising water level in the rivers Sutlej and Chenab.

Divisional Commissioner Raja Jahangir Anwar issued directives while chairing a video-link conference at his committee room here on Tuesday. The regional and divisional heads of government departments participated in the meeting.

The DCs and CE irrigation briefed the participants on the anti-flood measures. They said the relief camps were equipped with essentials including medicines.

The officers were informed that in case the water level due to heavy rains rose, the flood could affect rural areas of Ahmedpur East tehsil.

Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur correspondents also contributed to the report

Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2022

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