India released water into Pakistani rivers after intimation: FFC chairman

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India released water into Pakistani rivers after intimation: FFC chairman

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Federal Flood Commission (FFC) Ahmed Kamal Wednesday confirmed that India had released water into Pakistani rivers after intimation to Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters (PCIW) as they were bound to inform Pakistan about it.

Talking to APP, he said under the Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan, the former was bound to share developing flood situation and appropriate data with its counterpart.

He informed that water flowing into River Ravi at Ganda Singh Wala at 0600 hours Tuesday morning was 12000 cusecs, adding collectively 11,000 to 12,000 cusecs of water had been added into the country’s water system.

“The areas which might get affected from water include Dipalpur, Bahawalnagar, Hasilpur, Pakpattan, Lodhra, and Vehari”, he added.

Kamal said PCIW office, Lahore had confirmed that Indian authorities were in touch and had timely updated them about the prevalent and developing situation in their reservoirs’ catchments.

The met office and Flood Forecasting Division had also issued timely forecast and necessary guidelines about the developing water scenario in the region, he said.

“The maximum water entering Chenab River at Marala from India was 168,000 cusecs, however earlier it witnessed 213,000 cusecs of water inflow due to heavy rainfalls. So it was not that alarming situation as depicted in certain section of the media,” he maintained.

However the chairman warned that people have started encroaching near the banks of rivers Ravi and Sutlej which could pose a serious threat to life and property in case of heavy water flow from the Indian side.

He said the former Punjab government had also permitted some of its district departments to build infrastructure around the river banks, which was regrettable.

He said in order to stop encroachments near river banks, FFC had proposed ‘Provincial River Act’ along with its National Flood Plan, after consulting Federal Law Ministry, and sent it to the provinces for approval and implementation.

“But the matter has been pending since then therefore I urge authorities concerned to give the act top priority so as to impose punishments and strict actions against those responsible,” he said.

Responding to a question on how developing countries dealt with the floods, he said modern pipe techniques had been employed by European and other developed countries to conserve that abundant water. According to the technique giant size rubber tubes are manufactured and placed on the location where it accumulates water to an extremely large capacity.

“We are conservative in our approach to alleviate devastating flood risks and damages by only constructing dams and no doubt we will have to go for Pipe technique to save our land from flood damages”, he added.

APP