MUZAFFARGARH / BAHAWAL-PUR / MIANWALI: People in various parts of south Punjab on Tuesday continued to face an ordeal due to rain and flood.

Twelve union councils of Layyah district have been affected by floodwater of the Indus river; 12 schools and eight basic health units have been submerged by water in the city which is half a kilometre away from the river. The government has already declared an emergency in the city as the flow of water in the river was 644,000 cusecs on Tuesday.

An official, Ghulam Raza Khan, claimed that several union councils had been affected. Officials of the district administration and police helped people in evacuation, he added.

Deputy Commissioner Imtiaz Ahmad Khichi said efforts were being made to save the spurs of Shah Grahinwala.

Floodwater entered villages of Muzaffargarh’s Alipur and Jatoi tehsils where houses and hundreds of acres of crops were under water. Still some families have yet to vacate their homes. Alipur’s Zamindara Bund was breached and water moved to populated areas.

Muzaffargarh Deputy Commissioner Ali Anan Qamar claimed that next two to three days were critical for Kot Addu and Alipur tehsils. He said the Punjab government had provided tents and food items to the affected families.

District Police Officer Ahmad Nawaz Shah said the SHOs of all police stations had been deputed on riversides to provide food items to the people. He said the riverine check posts had been declared flood relief camps.

Meanwhile, many families of Taunsa Sharif, which have been affected by the Indus river floods last week, reached Muzaffargarh. Shabbir Ahmad, who heads a five-member family, said they came to Kot Addu to stay at a safe place but returned to Taunsa Sharif where they had nothing to eat. He said his cattle and house had been swept away. As word got round, officials reached the spot and provided food to the family and asked them to live in a relief camp.

BAHAWALPUR: The Sutelj river near the city was flowing at its full capacity and poses a flood threat to the local population in the coming days in case of release of water from across the border at Gandasingwala head near Kasur district.

The apprehension was expressed by Divisional Commissioner Raja Jahnagir Anwar while inspecting the Islam (Pallah) Headworks near Hasilpur on Vehari Road, about 90kms away from here. He was accompanied by Irrigation Chief Engineer Khalid Bashir Ahmed and other officials.

The chief engineer briefed the commissioner on the incoming water flow in the river which passes through Bahawalnagar, Chishtian and Hasilpur and after crossing through Bahawalpur city falls in the Chenab river near Ahmedpur East. It increases the water capacity at Panjnad Headworks near Uch Sharif.

The commissioner feared release of surplus water by India, which could create problems in Bahawalnagar and Bahawalpur. He said the Indian officials had stored 78 per cent water in its Hakra Dam on Sutlej. “If it full to its capacity and the rains continue on Indian side, they may release water in the river without informing Pakistan,” he said. He directed the officials to be alert.

MIANWALI: The evacuation process continued in several areas amid high flood warning in Mianwali.

The Flood Forecasting Division said a very high level flood was expected at Kalabagh and Chashma.

Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Umair said 47 mauzas were facing a threat of high flood in the district. He said 41 mauzas were located on the banks of the Indus river between Jinnah and Chashma barrages. He said six mauzas were located downstream river between Chashma and Taunsa barrages.

He said a population of more than 400,000 was feared to be hit by the flood. The cities were safe from flooding as they were higher than the river, he said.

He said 10 flood relief camps had been set up in the three tehsils of the district, providing food and shelter to the distressed.

A handout issued by Provincial Disaster Management Authority Director General Faisal Farid in Lahore said that on the instructions of the Punjab government, the PDMA and other provincial agencies were carrying out relief activities in the flood-affected areas. The DG said 108,315 flood-affected people had been provided medical treatment and 12,491 animals had been saved.

The relief commissioner Punjab and other officers were monitoring the activities in the flood-affected areas and were trying to provide all possible facilities to the victims. He said the teams were working to estimate the damage caused by the flood.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2022

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