Three spells of rain killed 95 people, fully damaged 2807 houses: CM

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in his meeting with Prime Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif through video link from CM House told him that his province had received 369 percent more rain than normally recorded in the monsoon which killed 93 persons, including 47 children, and damaged 2,807 houses completely and destroyed 388 kilometers roads connecting rural areas with the urban.

He said: “The serious situation calls for the support of the federal government to compensate for the losses of lives, infrastructure, crops and houses while the agriculture bank may be directed to defer recovery of its loans it has advanced to the growers in Sindh.”

The prime minister meeting in Islamabad was attended by the chief ministers, chief secretaries from their respective provinces through video link. Mr Shah briefing the prime minister said that Sindh province received heavy rainfall in the month of July.

The first spell occurred from 2 to 11 July, second from 14-18 July and last from 23rd July. He added that the rainfall recorded till date was almost 369 percent more than normally recorded in Sindh. Mr Shah said that Karachi received over all 556 mm rain during these three spells.

He said that 35 sewerage lines of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board were affected at different locations across city and three bridges in districts of West and Malir had been affected badly. He added major roads of Karachi such as EBM causeway, crossing causeway and others had been severely affected.

Mr Shah said that approximately 388.5 km of roads connecting different areas of the cities and talukas had also been damaged. He added that various major streets in urban centers like Karachi, Hyderabad, Badin, Sukkur, Thatta, Sujawal and Dadu. had also been partially damaged. The CM told the prime minister that around 15,547 houses partially and 2,807 fully were damaged and 89,213 acres of standing crop submerged or washed away in rains.

Shah giving details of the relief efforts taken by his government said that 62 truck mounted heavy dewatering pumps of PDMA were stationed at various districts for immediate dewatering of rainwater. He added that 30 out of 62 pumps were stationed in Karachi, in addition to the already deployed dewatering pumps by various departments.

Mr Shah said that as of now, 6280 tents, 17,675 mosquito nets, 20 boats with OBM, 3,280 jerry cans, and other relief items, including folding beds, pillows, bed sheets, life jackets had been provided to the rain affected families. He said that 300 ration bags had been provided to district Jamshoro. In addition, cooked food and drinkable water was also being provided to the rain affectees wherever needed.

Discussing anticipated issues, Shah said that Balochistan was likely to receive more rains for another week, which would further aggravate the existing situation of Hub Dam and adjoining areas of Karachi. He added that the excessive rains at Khirthar range might result in further increase of in-flow of water in Kamber Shahdadkot, Dadu and Jamshoro Districts.

Giving details of the flood situation at Guddu, the CM said that River Indus at Guddu was currently flowing at 283.4 (thousands of cusecs) which was at low flood level. “However, in next 24 hours, the level is expected to raise from 290 to 340 (thousands of cusecs),” he said and added further inflow of water beyond 400 (thousands of cusecs) would require evacuation of population residing in Katcha areas,

The chief minister discussing a long-term solution suggested raising and strengthening of flood protection bund adjoining Balochistan in order to minimize the risk of flash flood in Sindh in the future. He also requested the prime minister to support the strengthening and capacity enhancement of the Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD). Mr Shah said that the early completion of the Right Bank Outfall Drain (RBOD) was also requested the prime minister for upgradation of storm water drainage of Karachi.

The chief minister said that a huge amount of money was required to carry out all these works, therefore, the funds recovered from Bahria Town may be provided to the Sindh government for construction of nullas and other important uplift works. The prime minister assured the chief minister that he would help him in handing over the money recovered from M/s Bahria Town.