Section 144 imposed as flood unprecedented in 35 years hits Sutlej River

KASUR/LAHORE  -  Punjab caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi said Saturday that res­cue efforts were un­derway after a flood “unprecedented in 35 years” was reported in the Sutlej River.

According to the Flood Forecasting Division (FFD), the river is at an “extremely high flood level” at Ganda Singh Wala and will remain at this critical state.

It said River Sutlej at Sulemanki Headworks is anticipated to attain a “high to very high flood level” at the Sulemanki Headworks in the next 24 hours. Similarly, the Islam Headworks is expected to wit­ness a high flood level from Aug 22 onwards. Taking to so­cial media platform X (former­ly Twitter), Naqvi said “278,000 cusecs of water” is rushing near the Ganda Singh border in Kasur and the government was closely monitoring the situation.

“Monitoring the River Sat­luj flood situation closely as 278,000 cusecs of water rush near Ganda Singh Border, Kasur because of water discharge from indian side. Visited flood-affect­ed areas and relief camps today. Appreciation for district Admin­istration, Rescue 1122, Police, and Irrigation teams for their 24/7 efforts over the past 3 days. This flood is unprecedented in 35 years, but our teams are on the ground, dedicated to secur­ing and helping our people. In­sha Allah, we’ll get through this together. On the other hand, the district administration of Lahore imposed section 144 in the areas along river Sutlej under which the evacuation of every person from the flood affected villages is mandatory. In a statement, Com­missioner Lahore Muhammad Ali Randhawa said Police is also being deployed to protect the va­cated villages. He said out of fif­teen villages, four villages are without electricity and 92 per­cent of the population has been evacuated from nine villages.

The water level at Head Ganda Singhwala in Kasur has exceed­ed 23 feet, as there has been a further increase in the volume of the flood current released from India into the Sutlej.

Resultantly, there is a constant rise in the water level in the third spell of Sutlej River. The flood current has destroyed doz­ens of villages and thousands of acres of farmland.

More water will be released into Sutlej from India. The crops of paddy, turmeric, maize and taro (arvi) have been destroyed by the floods, while several vil­lages have bene submerged.

The flow of water at Ganda Singhwala in Kasur has reached 278,297 cusecs. The very high flood level is likely to persist for the next 24 hours.

The release of a flood current from the Ferozepur Barrage has worsened the situation in Ka­sur, while the administrations of Okara, Pakpattan, and Vihari districts are on high alert.

A massive current is set to start arriving at Sulemanki Barrage in Okara this afternoon. In this re­gard, rescue agencies have deliv­ered more boats and other safety equipment. In a statement issued today, Punjab PDMA Director General Imran Qureshi said there were reports that India would keep releasing water in Pakistan on a daily basis until Aug 21. It asked all the departments to re­main on high alert.

According to the authority, settlements near the River Sut­lej were being evacuated and essentials such as food, shelter and medicines were being pro­vided to the people.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt