LAHORE, Pakistan: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday directed the federal and provincial departments concerned to remain vigilant to deal with any flood threats and maintain close liaison with each other.
While addressing a three-hour long video conference in Lahore, he said that the departments should be fully prepared to cope with any emergency situation.
“In this regard, necessary machinery and other equipment should be made fully functional and flood emergency control room should be set up at provincial, divisional and district levels,” he added.
The chief minister warned that he would not tolerate any slackness in arrangements for timely disposal of water after rains in urban areas. He gave approval for increasing financial assistance from five lakh to eight lakh rupees for the heirs of victims of rain-related incidents. The financial aid for the injured has also been increased, he added.
The chief minister placed his helicopter at the disposal of Provincial Cabinet Committee to deal with floods emergencies and said that members of the committee could use it for field visits.
He expressed his displeasure at not purchasing the latest radar on time for the Meteorological Department. He said that non-implementation of decisions despite clear-cut instructions was highly deplorable. He said that strict action would be taken against the responsible persons.
He ordered for third-party audit of de-watering sets and other essential machinery items and said that ample stock of anti-venom vaccine and water purifying tablets should be made available.
The Health Department should maintain first-aid teams besides stock of essential medicines. Similarly, advance arrangements should be made for animals’ vaccination and their fodder, he added.
He said that provincial ministers and secretaries would supervise the arrangements made to deal with expected floods. The flow of water in nullahs in Sialkot should be monitored 24 hours.
The CM further directed that the flow of water of hill-torrents in Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur should also be monitored continuously. He also ordered for removing encroachments around Nullah Lai and other nullahs.
He said that commissioners and deputy commissioners should visit embankments and spurs and provincial departments should be fully prepared to deal with the challenge of possible floods.
During the meeting, monsoon and preemptive measures for possible floods were discussed in detail. The Met Department gave a briefing about weather situation while different provincial departments apprised the CM about the flood emergency plans.