KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that his province received unprecedented rains of 1100 mm and on top of it an additional 30 MAF deluge of Balochistan’s Hill torrents came down wreaking havoc in the cities and towns located on the right bank of River Indus and a similar situation emerged on the Left Bank of the River, therefore serious humanitarian crisis erupted against which his government is fighting to rescue and rehabilitate the people. This he said while addressing a crowded press conference here at CM House on Wednesday.

He was flanked by Minister Information Sharjeel Inam Memon, Minister Excise Mukesh Chawla, and Special Assistant Syed Qasim Naveed. Mr Shah said that in order to contain hill torrents FP bund was erected by six feet after the floods of 2010 but even then, the flood was so frenzied and high that it caused five breaches into the FP Bund and flooded various towns and villages in its way on the right bank.

On the Left of the River Indus major cities like Shaheed Benazirabad, Sanghar, Umerkot, Mirpurkhas and Badin are located. Their water would be discharged into Shakoor Lake and the cities and towns located near River Indus would have to pump their water into it [River]. “But, this will take time, he said and added because the quatum of water was so huge. Flood Position: Mr. Shah said that River Position at Guddu and Sukkur barrages was normal, as the high flood was passing through the Barrage and discharge was continuously declining. Comparing the discharge at Kotri for the last two days, he said that its flow was 575,435 cusecs upstream and 555,185 downstream which showed a decline of 50,759 cusecs on September 13. Similarly, the Kotri was flowing at 525,696 downstream and 508,981 upstream which has shown a decline of 100,497.

The CM said that the water level at Dadu Moro Bridge was 126.9 RL on September 13 and it came down to 126 RL on Wednesday. Similarly, Manchhar Lake had 122.5 RL on September 13 and it has come down to 122.1 RL today. Similarly, Amri Bridge had 108.9 RL on September 13 and it reduced to 108.2 today.

“Level of Dadu-Moro bridge has reduced by 4.4 feet, Manchhar Lake by 0.8 foot and Amri Bridge at 3.2 feet,” the CM said. Mr Shah also said that Johi Branch has also shown a reduction of water at its RD-67 (Khairpur Nathan Shah Road. Murad Ali Shah shared the details of the current situation of inundation on the right bank of Sukkur Barrage and said the water level has reduced by around two feet at Mehar City Ring Bund and KN Shah Main Drain flowing in MNV and there is a reduction of 2 feet. He added that the water level has also been reduced by one foot at Ring Bund Bhan Saeedabad – the overall water level is depleting in the upper areas of Taluka Qubo Saeed Khan, Shahdadkot, Kambar, Warah, Nasirabad.

Mr. Shah said that the decision to give relief cuts to any embankment was made in consultation with Irrigation experts, top engineers of the Army Corps, and even retired Irrigation chief engineers were also consulted. “The so-called experts on social and mainstream media are making baseless statements about the relief cuts,” he said and added that we have tried to flood Katcha areas to protect the pacca areas. “The decisions might have some mistakes but were taken with proper consultation with experts and sincerity,” he said.

Rice: The Chief Minister said that paddy was sown over an area of 1,487,870 acres, of which 1,063,273 or 71.46 percent have been damaged. “I am trying to protect the crops still standing over an area of 52,100.37 acres by providing them water,” he said and added that he has directed the Irrigation department to open the Rice Canal, NW Canal, and other concerned branches to provide water to the rice crop.

Relief goods: The Chief Minister said that on September 13, the PDMA provided 6,395 more tents, and the number of tents provided by PDMA, NDMA Pak Army, Air Force, and other organisations came to 216,063 tents. The PDMA, NDMA, Pak Army, Air Force, and other organizations have provided 185,561 Tarpaulin, including 4,000 by PDMA on September 13. Similarly, the 1541,937 Mosquito nets have been provided by the said organizations, including 5,000 by PDMA on September 13. Talking about ration bags, Murad Ali Shah said that so far 425,321 ration bags have been provided by the said organizations, including 17,750 on September 13 and 406,446 liters of drinking water have been distributed. He said that his government with the support of the federal government, armed forces, philanthropists, and other organizations were working hard to cater to the needs of the flood-affected people. Mr. Shah also shared the division-wise breakup of the relief goods provided to the affected people.

Health facilities: The Chief Minister told the media that 576 medical camps, including 170 fixed and 406 mobile camps have been set up by the health dept, PPHI, and other partners where 735 doctors, 1443 paramedics, and 265 nurses were performing duties. Sharing the data of the patients examined at the camps, Mr. Shah said that on September 13 alone 19456 gastro-related, 22156 skin, 11329 Malaria (suspected), 64 dengue (suspected), and 49015 other diseases. He added that three patients died. The number of patients who have died so far comes to 172. Mr Shah said that the disease prevalence in the province in September, included 19456 gastro, 22156 skin, 11329 Malaria, 64 dengue, and 49015 other diseases.

 Q&A: To a question, Mr. Shah said that the PTI-led Punjab government has not only stopped the atta, the Sindh government had purchased, at the border but registered an FIR. “This is quite deplorable and painful that the demand to meet the requirement of flood-affected people has been ignored just to advance their politics of hatred. “This attitude was inhuman and can only be condemned,” he said. To another question, the CM said that $15 million were needed to construct 15 houses that collapsed in the floods.

He added that the agriculture sector suffered a loss of Rs380 billion when their standing crops submerged. “We have to reconstruct the collapsed houses and revive the agriculture sector by offering them different incentives. Talking about Rs4000 per 40 kg wheat support price, the Chief Minister said that the wheat shortage was looming large all over the world. “The Russian - Ukraine war is bound to create a wheat shortage because they are the largest wheat exporters,” he said and added the price which was Rs9000 per bag for imported wheat would go further to Rs1200 per bag. He said this incentive of Rs4000 per maund would encourage the growers to grow more wheat so that local needs could be met.