LAHORE - The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has decided to get the help of SUPARCO in order to monitor situation of all the rivers of the province through satellite. A modern software has also been developed through which information will be obtained regarding flow of water and its impact on the surrounding areas, the head of PDMA said on Thursday.

Director General Jawad Akram told The Nation that representatives of SUPARCO and other software engineers in PDMA Punjab have been assigned pre-monsoon arrangements duties. Information will also be received about rains through satellite before time so that planning could be made regarding relief in future, he added.

The DG said that as soon the SUPARCO representatives informed the authorities about any danger of flood in expected areas or cities, the Control Room would immediately share the information with the authorities concerned, who would forward instructions to the district administrations so that they could take precautionary measures. The scientific alarming system would also help the PDMA in minimising the loss of life and property in highly risky areas, he added.

He also informed that the district administrations of the whole province have been ordered to immediately eliminate illegal encroachments from the banks of water courses. Officers showing any negligence or laxity will not be tolerated, he warned.

“The flood center set up at PDMA and Lahore Flood Warning Centre has been made operational from June 15 where officers of all departments will provide up to date information and awareness to the people under one roof,” Jawad informed.

According to him, PDMA has also established six warehouses with the cooperation of European Union in Lahore and Muzaffargarh, with cold storage having capacity of storing over 7500 matric tones of essential commodities and precautionary measures have also been taken at district and tehsil level. All the available machinery with the PDMA, including boats, has been overhauled and repairing of out of order machinery is under process, the DG told this scribe, adding that a training course of all the concerned officials with the help of Pak Army is starting from 26th of this month. A mock exercise has already been started by PDMA in April, he said.

Regarding allocation of funds for coping with the situation in case of any calamity, he said that the Punjab government had allocated one billion and 300 millions in the current budget for PDMA which is the highest allocation of relief funds ever. The chief minister had also assured the PDMA management of providing more funds in case of any emergency.