MANCHANABAD (INP) – India has released additional water in Sutlej River submerging dozens of villages and destroying standing crops on thousands of acres of land here. According to details, India released 70,000 cusecs of land which after passing through Sulemanki headworks entered Bhindi area of Manchanabad. As a result, many villages of the area have been submerged under water. Because of the gushing water, fertile land along the river banks was also washed away. Sources said that local people have started moving to safer places where administration has set up flood relief camps and concerned staff has been placed on alert.
The administration has asked people in Lala Amar Singh, Usmanpur Ratika, Pir Khalis, Bonga Akbar Mari Nihal, Bachianwali to shift to relief centres. Staff Reporter from Chunian adds: After failing to provide shelter and relief items for the flood affectees in various villages of Kasur, the district police officer on Friday forbade the Irrigation Department’s flood information centre to update the media on flood situation and inflow and outflow of water in the river Sutlej. He also gave a shut-up call to the administration of DHQ Hospital Kasur. However, the people living in Talwar Post, Kekar Post, Baqarke, Kothi Fateh Muhammad, Nagar, Aimen Pura, Shehjara, Chanda Singh Wala, Kalanger, Kasoki and Mashteki are crying out for help.
Yesterday, the flood information centre claimed that the Ganda Singh Wala gauge is showing a mark of 20.00, while the total inflow is 82,500 cusecs. When asked how it was possible that after 24 hours the water level has not even decreased or increased an inch because they reported the same measurements yesterday too, the officials at the centre said, “Please dial the number of the DPO office for update.” However, impeccable sources revealed that the current gauge at Ganda Singh Wala was 19.80 and the total inflow of water at the same point is 78,000 cusecs. The sources also revealed that in order to get maximum funding from the provincial government, the district government has decided to exhibit a more pathetic situation for a few days further. Although the already released funding by the provincial government has not yet been spent anywhere except on a few banners.
The river level here has significantly come down today but the miseries of the poor villagers are still at peak. There were a number of complaints regarding theft of valuables from the empty homes of the villagers in their absence during evacuation. But the police have not registered even a single case in this regard. Similarly, the patients are suffering from cholera, malaria and skin-related diseases but the hospital administration denied to give any official numbers. However, sources privy to the health issues said that since Monday 57 cases of cholera, 22 of skin diseases and 75 of malaria have been reported from these villages. A local social activist, GA Khan Advocate, termed these actions of district administration dictatorial and a clear violation of “Freedom of Information Ordinance 2002”.
Said Alam Khan from Peshawar adds: At least 38 dead bodies have so far been recovered while 26 other persons are still missing, as flash flood caused by torrential rains wreaked havoc in Kohistan district. A total of two Army helicopters took part in rescue operation to recover the dead bodies and provide relief to the victims on the second day of the deluge at tehsil Kundia of district Kohistan. Of the total 38 recovered bodies, 30 have also been identified and handed over to their heirs, while efforts are on to recover the remaining bodies soon, DCO Kohistan Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah told TheNation on telephone from Kohistan on Friday.
The dead bodies, he said, had been swept away by gushing floodwater to downtowns and that was why, there were some hurdles in their recovery. He said a total of 64 persons had gone missing in the flood, adding that the 26 remaining bodies would be recovered soon. On Friday, two helicopters of Pakistan Army took part in the rescue operation by airlifting affected families and providing foods to the victims living in remote mountainous worst affected Gibrial union council in Kohistan. Moreover, DCO Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah said that hailing from flood-hit areas, over 100 persons were also treated along with those 18 people who sustained minor injuries in the mishap. “We have distributed ample food stuff among the victims”, he added. Besides, giving tents, almost all the daily use stuffs are included in the food packages.
He said, “I think the food packages would be enough for two to three months”.
If weather permitted, the remaining relief work and packages distribution would be commenced today (Saturday), the DCO maintained. He said they did their job with very much care so as to assist the deluge-hit families by making proper assessment. A local while talking to TheNation said that floods damaged the whole infrastructure. It would take enough time to make it functional, he added. Due to the disaster, several far off areas are still cut-off from other parts of the province. He informed that about 1600 families were residing in Gibral area of tehsil Kundia. In addition, the deluge has also washed away almost 80 houses, standing crops and many cattle. The severe flood multiplied the miseries of the residents of Kohistan, as it is one of the backward districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where most of the people have to get basic facilities yet, he concluded.
( The Nation )