Worst yet to come: concrete plans vital to avert tragedy

Devastating flood continued playing havoc in Punjab and Azad Kashmir leaving more than 250 people dead and thousands injured in landslides, building collapse and other rain-related incidents . Southern Punjab now facing the wrath of raging River Chenab after the flood passes through the upper Punjab leaving widespread devastation in the region .The high flood waters have rendered thousands of people homeless and caused irreparable damages to hundreds of villages in Upper Punjab. The next twenty four hours are extremely important as the River Chenab and Jhelum which have been at their devastating peaks are expected to reach Trimu headworks in Jhang There are reports that a decision has been taken to break the protective dyke of Athara Hazari to take some pressure off from the Trimu headworks due to exceptionally high flood level.

The Met officials were not expecting that much rains. But still the department issued warning which was not taken seriously by the concerned quarters. Had the flood department acted timely the loss of precious lives, damages to standing corps could have been reduced. People in Dir who went through same agony in 2010, are now threatening to launch protest demo against the government complaining that they haven’t received any compensation yet despite the lapse of four years. The flood forecasting department has failed miserably to assess the pre-monsoon impact that resulted into such huge tragedy. The politicians are also responsible for the destruction. They haven’t learnt lesson from the past. Every then and now when such calamity strike, the floodwater after destroying hundred and thousands of agriculture land, houses, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands people, fell directly in to the sea. No campaign was launched by the politicians and concerned authorities to create awareness among the masses about the construction of more dams in the country to contain the floodwater which could help generating thousands megawatts of electricity besides boosting the agriculture sectors in the country.

The construction of Kalabagh Dam was vital for the country’s agriculture land. But the issue was politicized to that extent especially by then NWFP and Sindh government that the plan was dropped. The feasibility reports were prepared keeping all the aspects insight. The politicians made hue and cries and termed the construction of Kakabagh Dam as conspiracy. They kept pressurizing the then government that their ancestors land as well graveyards will be destroyed if the dam was constructed. None of the successive rulers sincere efforts to convince the opponents that there was no possibility of any such danger and it would be beneficial for the country as the floodwater could be contained in the dam. The sitting government seems committed to construct more dams. Diamer-Bhasha Dam, Dasu dam would be a great source for not only generating electricity but to put and end to the loadshedding once for all. The delay in constructing dams has badly damaged the national economy and pushes the country into darkness. The ever-increasing loadshedding has left adverse affect on industrial sectors, rendered thousands of people jobless and gave rise to inflation..

The efforts being made now to minimize the damages being caused by the raging floodwater are on. Pakistan armed forces and rescue teams are playing commendable role in saving the lives of thousands of people surrounding by the floodwaters in their native villages. The government has to devise an effective strategy in order to avert devastation caused by the flooding waters of River Chenab, Jrhlum in which hundreds of thousands of people were marooned, their houses submerged and livestock washed away. The problems of flood affectees must be addressed on Warf toting basis as they are complaining of little help and being left at the mercy of the furious river and its channels.

The government must lodge strong protest with India for releasing floodwater without giving proper time to the government. The construction of Bughiyar Dam which is a sheer violation of Indus Treaty musty be taken to International Court. The Indian authorities are bent upon harming Pakistan as much as they could to destabilize it.

The government must learn lesion from the 2010.It is also the responsibility of the politians either sitting in opposition benches or enjoying power to respond to the current crisis without politicizing it. It is a national tragedy and leaders from all political shades must rise to the occasion and demonstrate unity for the assistance of the affectees. It is the need of hour to put aside political differences and join hands to deal with the situation as all the flood related agencies are working beyond their capacity and resources to tackle the situation.



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