KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday said that a flood protection policy like ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ should be adopted by continuing the repair and maintenance work of the river embankments particularly vulnerable points.
The chief minister presiding over a meeting on flood situation said he has held a number of meetings before the start of flood season and had issued necessary directives for pre-flood season arrangements and strengthening of vulnerable points.
Secretary Irrigation Syed Jamal Shah briefed CM Sindh and said total discharge position today at upstream Guddu Barrage is 456,521 cusecs while the downstream discharge is 453,380 cusecs.
He said that there are 48 vulnerable points at different embankment of the River Indus. While replying to a question of the chief minister, he said the vulnerability is determined on soil characteristics, old breaches sites, historical leaks and wave wash.
He said that there are 27 vulnerable points on Sukkur Barrage which include nine on left bank and 18 on right bank of Larkana region. In Guddu Barrage region, there are six vulnerable points.
He added that in the jurisdiction of Sindh Irrigation & Drainage Authority, there are seven vulnerable points, including three at Left Bank Canal Area Water Board Badin, and four at Ghotki Feeder Canal Area Water Board. There are eight vulnerable points in Kotri Barrage region Hyderabad.
Special Secretary Irrigation Junaid Memon said that work on all vulnerable points was in progress. CM Sindh said that this is the time of flood fighting but “this work of strengthening of embankments as started earlier should continue till off-flood season,’ he said.
Chief Engineer Sukkur Barrage Right Bank region Larkana Aijaz Shaikh said that Sukkur-Larkana (SL) and Larkana-Sehwan (LS) embankments were constructed to control the right side of the River Indus
“As the river flows in meanders, the flow pattern in river is like English alphabet letter `S’ having series of curves. The curve on the concave side always remains in an active erosion portion as well as present in water suspension,” he said.
He added that the scouring and hitting action of the river water has damaged and wiped away the different portions of SL and LS embankments, resulting on formation of new frontline and second line of defence embankments.
The meeting was told that pre-flood measures have been taken from June 1 under which maintenance of embankments was made, and temporary embankment have also been constructed at every half mile of the embankment where material such as hurricane lamps, torches, empty gunny bags and bamboos have been stoked at vulnerable points to face any emergent situation.
CM Sindh directed the chief engineers to keep monitoring the stone pitching work being carried out at vulnerable points as they have sufficient budget and work should be carried out smoothly.