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Meeting of Ministry of Water and Power to review pre-flood preparations

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Islamabad: Meeting was conducted in ministry of Water and Power to review pre-flood preparations, which was chaired by Naveed Qamar. Heads of concerned departments said that they were ready to tackle the possible calamity. Chief engineer floods Punjab irrigation department said that almost 85% work was complete in the province and rest 15% would be completed till 15th of July. Major work was in progress along Indus. They have already issued a warning on 15th of June to meet the possible catastrophe. Minister showed his displeasure over slow progress of the province in taking pre-flood measures.

In reply he said that slow pace of the work was due to high cost of construction and that the contractors were not ready to work on government rates. He also said that they have spent amount of 162 million to raise the height of Akbar flood bund. Another 170 million were spent in Bahawalpur area. Chairman federal flood commission showed his concerns over possible flood in Shahdara region in Lahore. It was found that Shahdara area of Lahore could be vulnerable even if there is a flood of 0.1 cusec due to heavy encroachments. Minister directed the relevant authorities to chalk out an evacuation plan in case of floods.

Secretary irrigation Sindh government informed the minister about the progress of the work to counter possible flood. He said that all 41 schemes will be completed till 30th July. He also briefed the participants about post-flood plans. Minister showed his concern of no breaching section in the whole province.

Pre-flood preparedness by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, though, was found to be satisfactory. Secretary irrigation department told that that had completed 98% work in the province. A flood emergency cell had been established in the province, removal of encroachments is in progress and emergency machinery is installed. Chairman FFC, though, rejected his progress.

Secretary irrigation Balochistan province told that they had completed 80% work and the work in most vulnerable areas had been completed. FFC chairman objected his statement and told that only 45% work was completed in the province.

Director General Pakistan meteorological department briefed the participants about radars and early warning system. He said that all seven radars were in working order to keep an eye on changing weather conditions. He also said that they were taking images from satellite and Chinese met office was cooperating with them.

Representatives of district Govt Rawalpindi and disaster management also briefed about their plans especially the situation of Nala Lai. They said they were all prepared to meet the unseen situation.

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Haji Ahmed Malik
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