KARACHI    -    Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah has directed Hesco, Sepco and K-Electric to ensure electricity supply during rainwater drainage in the monsoon season.

He issued these directives while presiding over an important meeting on the monsoon contingency plan 2019 at Sindh Secretariat on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by Board of Revenue Senior Member Shamsuddin Soomro, Sukkur Mayor Arsalan Shaikh, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shalwani, Hyderabad Commissioner Muhammad Abbas Baloch, Sukkur Commissioner Rafiq Ahmed Buriro, Larkana Commissioner Saleem Raza Khuhro, Irrigation Secretary Saeed Ahmed Mangrejo, Works & Services Secretary Mansoor Abass Rizvi and representatives of the Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy, Sindh Police, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Hesco, Sepco and K-Electric.

The PDMA director general said in his briefing that the entire country received normal rainfall from July to September. “Normal to above normal rainfall is expected in upper half of Pakistan due to strong incursion of monsoon currents and their interaction with the westerly weather system. Extreme weather events are expected during the period and may cause flooding in the rivers and adjoining tributaries,” he said.

He informed the meeting that there are four types of rain/flood: riverine flood caused by snow-melting, urban flood caused by heavy rain spell/cloud burst, LBOD flood caused by heavy rainfall and flash flood caused by extreme rainfall in Khirthar/Koh-e-Suleman Range. All divisional commissioners informed the meeting about the plans they had prepared for their divisions and districts.  Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Ahmed Shalwani informed the meeting that there are 30 drains in Karachi that pose threat of overflowing in the monsoon season. He said that encroachments are being removed and drains are being cleaned.

The chief secretary directed the Karachi commissioner and Sindh Solid Waste Management managing director to monitor cleanliness of drains and ensure removal of encroachments along these drains. Sukkur Mayor Arsalan Ahmed Sheikh said there is a shortage of staff in his division, but they administration has started preparations for monsoon and all available staff and resources are be used for this purpose.

The chief secretary directed all commissioners to prepare a list of health institutions, their capacity, emergency beds, doctors, paramedics, mobile dispensaries and availability of vaccines. He directed them to identify areas for temporary relief camps or tent villages in each Taluka. He stated that details of livestock facilities should include availability of fodder and vaccination facilities and they should be shared with all stakeholders. He called for a close coordination between the administrations and Civil Defence. He directed the PDMA and commissioners to build tent cities or make special arrangements for rain/flood affected people. He said that schools should not be used for this purpose because such actions disturb students’ educational activities.

He also directed the PDMA to increase number of drainage pumps for Karachi from 40 to 100. After formal approval of the monsoon plans, they will be shared with all stakeholders. The chief secretary also directed the irrigation secretary to deploy staff at protected embankments and monitor the situation.