Don’t let flood wreck havoc this year: Shahbaz

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While presiding over a high level meeting on Tuesday, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif gave approval to important measures for the improvement of flood management system in the province. The meeting also decided to establish a risk management unit at the Irrigation Department besides approval was given to handover the control of pond areas of Punjab to the department.

Addressing the meeting, the chief minister directed that necessary protective measures be completed at any cost before the monsoon season while regulatory and administrative steps be also finalised. He said that short-term measures should be adopted immediately for improvement of flood management system. He said that strengthening of protective spurs and embankments should be ensured in time. He ordered authorities to curb illegal constructions by the side of rivers. He said that early warning system that would warn about possible flood is of vital importance and modern radar should immediately be arranged for this purpose.

The chief minister directed that rehabilitation and repair work of barrages be completed expeditiously. He said that barrages are important structures and competent officers be deputed at these places.

He issued instructions for evolving irrigation manual on modern lines and said that approved short term measures be immediately implemented. He said that immediate measures be taken for the improvement of irrigation installations.

He further said that the Irrigation Department should arrange third-party audit of all the measures.

He said that there is a need for capacity-building of bridges and barrages and effective measures be taken for this purpose. He said that repair and construction work of entire infrastructure be completed transparently.

He said that funds should be spent honestly on flood management system.

He issued instructions for setting up of a special committee with regard to mid and long term measures for flood management plan and directed that the committee should submit its final recommendations within fourteen days.

The secretary irrigation gave a detailed briefing on the improvement of flood management system while the participants gave their proposals in this regard.

Ministers Yawar Zaman, Tanvir Aslam Malik, Farrukh Javed, Muhammad Shafiq, Bilal Yasin, Abdul Waheed Arain, National Assembly Member Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari, Advisor on Health Salman Rafiq, provincial assembly members, chief secretary, Board of Revenue senior member, Planning and Development chairman, secretaries concerned, Lahore Division commissioner and senior authorities attended the meeting.