SIALKOT

A youth from village Raheempur here drowned in the Marala-Ravi-Link Canal near Saahowala, Sambrial tehsil while another from Gujrat drowned in the River Chenab near Head Marala while picnicking and bathing. Faisal Tariq, 18, went to the canal for a respite from the scorching heat. He was taking bath there along with his friends and drowned. His friends could not save him. The 1122 rescuers fished out his dead body after a skirmish.On Saturday, a Gujrat based youth Ali Murtaza, 25 had also drowned in the River Chenab near Head Marala while picnicking and bathing. Rescue 1122 Sialkot officials found his dead body from the river.Now, two youths have drowned in Sialkot district during the last two days (Saturday and Sunday) while bathing in rivers and canals, violating the official ban already imposed  by the district administration of Sialkot on bathing and picnicking in and around the rivers, canals, water channels and streams flowing into Sialkot district here.On May 26, 2013, Sialkot Cantt-based youth Umer Ali drowned in Upper Chenab Canal near Head Marala-Sialkot while taking bath. A rush of the sizzling hot weather and prolonged power outages-beaten people including women and children could be witnessed at the banks of the canals Upper Chenab Canal, Nandipur, Marala-Ravi-Link and Bambaanwala-Ravi-Baidian Daska in Sialkot, Sambrial, Daska and Pasrur and River Chenab near Head Marala-Sialkot.Sakeena Bibi (46) from Chawinda-Pasrur was of the view that the district administration should not impose a ban on bathing and picnicking along the banks of the canals, water channels, streams and the rivers, because the people were forced to come there in a bid to get some relaxation in the hot weather with the hours long daily power outages in the region. When contacted, DCO Sialkot Shakeel Ahmed said that the district administration will ensure early implementation of the ban.All set to cope with likely floods: The district administration has divided Sialkot into 22 sectors to avert the recurring flood threats under a flood protection plan, besides establishing 33 flood relief centres it its Sialkot, Daska and Sambrial tehsils.According to DCO Shakeel Ahmed, all the departments concerned had been put on high alert. He said that the special vigilance teams were monitoring the flood situation in River Chenab round the clock. He added that the district administration had completed all the necessary preventive arrangements to save the district from the recurring floods.All the necessary measures had been completed, besides putting all the departments concerned on high alert to avert any untoward situation. On the other, the District Administration of Narowal has also established 17 flood relief camps in Narowal district to avert the recurring flood threats, said DCO Narowal Muhammad Yasrab Hunjra while talking to the newsmen.