LAHORE/KASUR: Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) on Wednesday issued an alert about medium-to-high level flood at Ganda Singh in the Sutlej as India had released surplus 225,663 cusec water.

PDMA shared the Indian authorities releasing 141,000 cusec water from Pong Dam, 83,703 cusec from Bhakra Dam in the Sutlej. As much s 125,000 cusec water would enter Pakistani territory at Hari Ky Patan and a high-level flood was predicted at Ganda Singh.

The PDMA had issued instructions to the deputy commissioners of Bahawalnagar, Kasur, Okara, Pakpattan and Vehari for preparations to tackle the emergency situation.

All dams on the Sutlej and Beas in India have been filled to the capacity and more rainfall expected in upper catchment areas of the rivers.

Admin braces itself for any eventuality; India expected to release more water

The PDMA spokesman said: “India can release surplus water from its reservoirs”.

Heavy rainfall with thunderstorms is likely in catchment areas of major rivers in the next 24 hours, according to the alert.

“The monsoon rain spell will likely to continue till Aug 23,” according to the PDMA.

“Flooding is expected in the Sutlej at Ganda Singh Wala and low-lying areas,” PDMA stated.

The Met Office has forecast more monsoon rains in upper parts of the country.

Moderate-to-heavy falls may increase the water flows in local nullahs/streams of Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Chitral, Dir, Swat, Kohistan, Shangla, Buner, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department.

Our Correspondent from Kasur adds: The district administration has once again girded up its loins as the water level in the Sutlej touched the low-level flood mark so far.In a press release on Wednesday, the district administration claimed that the water level in the Sutlej would continue to rise as India would release about 80,000 cusecs water on a daily basis.

In the wake of the water released by India, Deputy Commissioner Arshad Bhatti had ordered all the respective departments to remain on high alert, the release said.

It also mentioned that the district administration had made all arrangements to tackle any untoward situation.

It merits mentioning that a flood-like situation continues to persist in over a dozen villages for about a month as water did not recede completely. The water level continues to fluctuate near the low-level flood, and the river has never flowed at its normal capacity during the last month.

The persisting flood conditions have badly damaged the houses and basic infrastructure of the affected villages. The scarcity of food and fodder has forced the villagers to return to their homes from places shifted by the administration.

Crops over thousands of acres have already been damaged.

It is interesting to note that the DC, in his press release, claimed to have made all arrangements to save the villages and crops from floodwater.

Despite the request of Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Defence Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan at a public meeting in Khudian in the recent past, the premier did not declare the flood-tossed villages as a calamity-hit area, which could provide relief to the people in the form of taxes and electricity bills.

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2023

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