Flood in Chenab, Sutlej inundates 62 schools, 50 villages
Floodwater of rivers Sutlej and Chenab Wednesday inundated dozens of villages, 62 public schools, damaged crops and mud houses at several places in districts Kasur and Jhang.
The water level in the River Sutlej increased when India released up to 38,000 cusecs of water into the river without prior intimation earlier this week. The River Sutlej floodwater affected over 50 villages, including Chachran Sharif, Kot Mithan, Chanda Singhwala, Gati Kalanger, Mastayki and Bhikiwind and destroyed standing crops on hundreds of acres of land near the riverbed.
Rescue-1122 and Pakistan Army personnel shifted people of affected areas to safer places. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) earlier had issued a flood-like situation warning alongside the River Sutlej.
According to NDMA spokesperson Brigadier Mukhtar Ahmed, the water level at Ganda Singh Wala was recorded at 17.8 feet with 37,640 cusecs of water flow on Tuesday, and it was expected that water flow would touch 100,000-150,000 cusecs by Wednesday.
He said all federal and provincial bodies were ready to cope with any situation. On Monday, Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters Shiraz Jamil Memon said India had suspended the Indus Waters Treaty and stopped all kinds of data-sharing with Pakistan. He said India did not notify Pakistan about releasing additional water into the River Sutlej.
However, on Tuesday morning Pakistan’s office of the commissioner for Indus Waters finally received a letter from its Indian counterpart stating that the data was being shared under the treaty.
Meanwhile, River Chenab floodwater inundated 62 public schools and damaged crops and mud houses at several places in the district.
District Education Authority (DEA) Administrator/ Deputy Commissioner (DC)Muhammad Tahir Wattoo directed the education officials to take immediate steps for the safety of students and teachers in flooded areas.
The CEO of DEA, Nasim Ahmed Zahid, visited the affected areas and asked the heads of the schools and controlling officers to shift the schools assets to safer places. According to a report, the floodwater inundated the Government Boys High School Pir Kot Sadhana and schools of other areas. The CEO has asked the DEOs, DDEOs and AEOs to remain in field and coordinate with the heads of schools affected by the flood.
According to sources, many families living in villages on both sides of the River Chenab have started moving to safe places. The floodwater damaged crops and destroyed mud houses at several places of the district. The people have accused the irrigation officials of misusing funds of millions of rupees allocated for repairing and de-silting riverbeds and for the improvement of safety walls of the Chenab. But, owing to discharge of floodwater towards Trimu Barrage the water level is increasing in the Chenab affecting the villages and crops, including paddy, sugarcane, corn and others. The flood victims complained that the officials concerned did not inform them about the flood.
The Burewala administration has issued flood alert in 31 villages about release of excessive water in the River Sutlej. Assistant Commissioner (AC) Rana Aurngzeb said the local administration through mosque speakers was advising people to shift to safer places.
He said three emergency relief camps had been established at Mouza Jamlera, Sahuka and Saldera. He said Agriculture, Revenue, Health, Livestock departments officials had been asked to deal with the flood emergency. Meanwhile, Rescue-1122 has established eight relief camps in different parts of the district to dealt with flood emergency situation.