ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 16th Augst,2016) : Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif Tuesday directed the provinces and all concerned departments to remove encroachments from flood plains waterway to avoid human and property loss. Presiding over a meeting to review the status of implementation of the decisions taken in Federal Flood Commission (FFC) 51st annual meeting, he said, it was the responsibility of local administration to remove the encroachments from their respective areas as soon as possible.
"Removal of the encroachment may affect a few people but inaction will affect thousands of people," he said presently encroached areas are spanning over from Chitral to Sindh province. Khawaja Asif said that huge damaged occurred in Chitral during the current monsoon season due to encroachments. The minister expressed concerns over not implementing the decisions of the meeting and said had the forecast of the PMD regarding above 20 percent proven right, there would have been worst condition.
He also directed the Federal Flood Commission to prepare a comprehensive report regarding steps taken by the WASA and local administration to avoid flood in Rawalpindi. Khawaja Asif asked the FFC to visit the Nullah Leh and submit report to the Punjab government. He also asked the Rawalpindi Cantonment board to remove encroachments from their side without along the Leh. The minister asked the ministry for helping procuring radar system to Pakistan Meteorological Department.
A representative of the Pakistan Meteorological Department informed the meeting that the department had predicated that summer monsoon rainfall was likely to be 10 to 20 percent above normal over the country averaged for three months (July,August, September). However, he said, rainfall over the country as whole was 14 percent below than the normal. On regional scale, he said, the rainfall amounts had shown a mixed pattern with above normal over Punjab and KP and close to normal over Gilgit Baltistan whereas slightly below normal over AJ&K but largely deficient over Balochistan and Sindh Coastal areas.
He said Balochistan and eastern parts of Sindh received no or very little rainfall in the whole month. However, he said the rainfall over the country remained close to normal during period of July 1 to August 12. He said according to the latest report, there are still chance of rain in the current month and September in southern parts of the country. The FFC representative said that as a result of wet spell, river Indus and Kabul attained low to medium flood level at several occasion during first phase of the current monsoon season.
However, he said conditions remained under control and no unpleasant incident faced by the flood fighting management related organization. He said presently all main rivers are flowing normal except river Indus which is at low flood stage at Guddu Barrage. Tarbela and Mangla reservoirs are at elevation of 1536.90 feet and 1241.65 feet respectively which are 13.10 feet and 0.35 foot below their respective maximum conservation level of 1550 feet and 1242 feet.