RE Another flood warning shook Punjab on Saturday in the wake of possible massive deluge as India released over 18,000 cusecs of additional water in River Ravi without prior information to the Pakistani authorities.
Around 170 villages along the river have been evacuated while the local administration is on high alert in Narowal and Sialkot districts to cope with any emergency, official sources said.
The Pakistani Government should reconsider the decision to accept US $5 million Indian aid offer and have it clarified that whether New Delhi is offering aid for the flood victims or giving compensation for expected flood devastation after releasing water in Ravi, Ayub Khan Mayo, President Pakistan Muttahida Kissan Mahaz (PMKM), said when contacted.
Official sources further said the flood warning was issued after the news of flood in five nullahs in the catchments areas of River Ravi. India has released 18,000 cusecs of water in River Ravi that can cause massive floods in Narowal and Shakargarh as there was already 27,000 cusec water flowing in the river, they added.
Earlier, the Metrological Department predicted that water level in River Ravi would remain low during the next 24 hours but after release of water a low-level flood has hit Bhutsen and Basantar drainages of the river. The Flood Warning Centre in Lahore has given prior high-flood warning in a drainage located at Shakargarh. Flooding is also possible in Basantar, Jhajri, Oojh and Khattar drainages.
A water inflow of 70,000 cusec at Shahdara could cause massive destruction, officials warned.
It is worth mentioning that during the Pak-India parleys held in March and May 2010, India had agreed to install telemetry system on the rivers in its territory to check real-time water flow. But later New Delhi refused to respond to the issues raised by Islamabad.
Pakistan again stressed the need for installing the telemetry system in a bid to get to avoid flood destruction.
When asked about the installation of telemetry system on the rivers in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, G Auranga Nathan during his recent visit to Pakistan said, They (Pakistan) have pointed out the importance of telemetry system in this world of advanced technology. I have told them that we will discuss their views at all levels and then I will get back to them.
But India has neither responded on such an important matter nor issued warning before releasing water in River Ravi, which is a sheer violation of the Indus Water Treaty as well.
Pakistans demand about the telemetry system gained importance due to the fact that after construction of various controversial projects on the western rivers, especially on the Chenab, Islamabad could get real-time information about the water flow.