Caretaker Minister for Environment, Planning and Forests Punjab Bilal Afzal directed the heads of provincial and district departments to utilise all resources to deal with possible flooding, especially during the monsoon season.
He paid a surprise visit to Sargodha and chaired a meeting at the Commissioner’s office on Friday, and reviewed preparations to deal with possible floods.
The Commissioner and officers from other departments briefed him on divisional and district-level flood preparations. Minister Afzal said that in case of floods, adequate arrangements should be made for food, medical treatment and accommodation of victims.
The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) was ordered to ensure around-the-clock monitoring of the water level in rivers and task the relevant departments to keep machinery functional to cope with possible flooding.
The provincial minister also emphasised that in order to prevent likely urban flooding, the desilting of drains should be ensured in a timely manner.
The Commissioner and all deputy commissioners were ordered to fully cooperate with Rescue-1122 and the PDMA to deal with any emergency arising from rains or floods.
Afzal said that Sargodha division was likely to be affected by the coming rains, so staff and machinery of all departments should be kept functional.
He added that the caretaker government had ensured foolproof arrangements to deal with possible flooding with the available resources and cabinet members were also visiting vulnerable districts to perform inspections.
Later, the caretaker minister also observed a mock exercise at the Langarwala bridge on the Jhelum River near Sahiwal.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th2023.
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