HYDERABAD    -    Provincial Minister of Information, Transport and Mass Transit Sharjeel Inam Memon on Sunday said that with the advice of irrigation experts, it has been decided to technically crack Manchar Lake at a place where there would be minimal damage.

Addressing a press conference at his residence “Rawal House,’’ Sharjeel Memon said Manchar Lake was flowing at its dangerous level, if decision would not be made Sehwan and Bhan Sayedabad towns having population of over three hundred thousands had been drowned. Sharjeel said that only 6 union councils including Jaffarabad, Wahar, Chana, Arzahi and Bobak will be affected by cracking the lake at the designated location. The government has already taken steps to evacuate the population of the mentioned UCs to safe places while Chief Minister Sindh is already personally monitoring the situation there, Sharjeel said.

Sharing details of the damage caused due to rain and flood across the province, the minister said that so far 563 people have died and more than 22 thousand have been injured.

In total, over hundred thousand cattle have perished while more than 672,000 flood affectees have taken shelter in the relief camps established by the provincial government, Sharjeel Memon said.

Memon said that there has been a massive disaster and the cooperation of the federal government and philanthropists is needed in this regard to help the flood victims.

He said that rescuing and providing relief to the people affected by the planned breach in Manchar will be the first priority of the government.

In order to save the majority of the population, a decision has been made to give cracks to the Manchar Lake and the ancestral village of Sindh Chief Minister will also be among those villages that would come under water due to this breach,Sharjeel said.

The provincial minister said that health facilities are being provided in all the relief camps and steps are being taken to shift the affected pregnant women to the hospital.

In response to a question, he said that at no point had water been released for the benefit of anyone, wherever cuts have been made, the decision has been made by taking the relevant institutions into confidence. He said that if it is proved that someone has made deliberate cuts in their interest, then action will be taken against them.

He said the flood situation is not yet over as water level in river Indus, other drains and lakes is high, as soon as water flow will pass then drainage work will be started.

Earlier, Pakistan’s largest Manchar lake has been breached near Bagh Yusuf on Sunday to reduce the flood water pressure and save the majority population from being inundated.

According to the official statement, a cut was given at the RD-14 to reduce the flood water pressure in Manchar Lake. Jamshoro’s DC Fariduddin Mustafa has confirmed that a crack had been given to Manchar Lake at RD-14 near Bagh Yusuf.

According to the Sindh Irrigation Department, after cutting the Manchar Lake, the water will enter the Indus River through the village of Kiranpur and the Indus Link. The Irrigation department officials said that after the cut, the water pressure from Manchar Lake would be decreased by 30 percent. Due to the rising water level in Manchar Lake, there was a risk of the breaking of embankment of the Lake and there was a fear of submerging the Sehwan and other populous towns.

In view of the flood situation, the residents have started to relocate, while after the water pressure increased on the ring embankments of Mehar and Johi cities, the citizens are busy filling sacks with soil to strengthen the embankments.