Mon­soon rains may play havoc in var­i­ous cities

PMD re­quires Rs16b for ef­fec­tive Ear­lier Warn­ing Sys­tem in­stal­la­tion; Sen­ate Com­mit­tee in­forms PMD is­sues alert and flood warn­ing to con­cerned depart­ments dur­ing mon­soon

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL -

IS­LAM­ABAD—The Pak­istan Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Depart­ment (PMD) on Mon­day warned all the con­cerned depart­ments to re­main high alert dur­ing moon­soon sea­son start­ing from June, 27 which would cause flash flood­ing in big cities of country. Talk­ing to me­dia PMD Direc­tor Gen­eral Dr Ghu­lam Ra­sul said that the ini­tial rains would not cause any flood­ing be­cause the dry soil would ab­sorb the wa­ter but af­ter that the rains may play havoc in var­i­ous cities. He fur­ther said usu­ally, mon­soon rains start from July 1st, but this year it is go­ing to com­mence from June 27.

The wa­ter in­flow would in­crease dur­ing the mon­soon sea­son that could lead to an alarm­ing sit­u­a­tion, he added. Com­ment­ing on PMD’s prepa­ra­tions for the mon­soon pe­riod, Dr Ghu­lam Ra­sool said, “We have writ­ten let­ters to the Chief Sec­re­taries, Chief Min­is­ters and Gover­nors of all four prov­inces as well as Gil­git Baltistan and Kash­mir to com­plete their prepa­ra­tions to cope with any dis­as­ter or emer­gency sit­u­a­tion.”

This time, the Met Of­fice had in­formed all the depart­ments con­cerned about the chances of floods so that they must be well pre­pared, he said adding, “No one can now blame the Met Of­fice for not fore­cast­ing floods in time.” He in­formed the rains are likely to start from up­per parts of the country and would spread to­wards the cen­tral and south­ern parts dur­ing the week.

Mean­while, it is re­ported that the Sen­ate Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Cli­mate Change on Mon­day in­formed that Rs 16 bil­lion are re­quired for in­stal­la­tion of mod­ern equip­ments in the Pak­istan Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Depart­ment for ef­fec­tive Ear­lier Warn­ing Sys­tem (EWS).

Direc­tor Gen­eral Pak­istan Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Depart­ment Ghu­lam Ra­sool in­formed the com­mit­tee that most of the equip­ments in­stalled in the PMD are out­dated. He said that meet­ing re­cently held in Prime Min­is­ter house was in­formed about the re­quire­ments of the PMD of­fice. He said the gov­ern­ment had as­sured to pro­vide the fi­nan­cial re­quire­ments for the in­stal­la­tion of the mod­ern equip­ments.

The DG also stressed the need for ca­pac­ity build­ing of PMD for more ef­fec­tive func­tion­ing. Presently China’s satel­lite is help­ing Pak­istan in fore­cast­ing the weather sys­tem. He said PMD is in the process of up-gra­da­tion of its radar sys­tem which will en­able them to pro­vide ac­cu­rate fore­cast. The DG in­formed the com­mit­tee that there is a dearth of up­dated equip­ment, which is why the depart­ment is un­able to have an ef­fec­tive EWS.

He said that 20 radars are needed to cover com­plete area of Pak­istan, how­ever, there are only 7 radars in­stalled out of which ma­jor­ity have com­pleted their life span. Pak­istan suf­fers bil­lions of ru­pees loss due to yearly floods due to lack of an up­dated and ef­fec­tive teleme­tery sys­tem. Se­na­tor Mushahid Hus­sain said that it is ex­tremely sad that de­spite Pak­istan be­ing the top most country af­fected by Cli­mate change, “our re­sponse is de­layed and we have ad hoc mo­ment to mo­ment ap­proach. We should rather have pre­emp­tive ap­proach”

The chair­man com­mit­tee se­na­tor Mir Muham­mad Yousaf de­cided to call a full ses­sion to be briefed by all rel­e­vant depart­ments con­cerned with early warn­ing sys­tem of floods and other nat­u­ral dis­as­ters. The rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Na­tional Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity (NDMA) in­formed the com­mit­tee SMS based early warn­ing sys­tem for com­mu­ni­ties was es­tab­lished with the as­sis­tance of PTA and col­lab­o­ra­tion of Cel­lu­lar Com­pa­nies which re­sulted in timely evac­u­a­tions as well as pub­lic aware­ness.

While in­form­ing the com­mit­tee on set up of LNG ter­mi­nal the min­istry of the Pe­tro­leum and Nat­u­ral Re­sources said that be­fore op­er­a­tions and construction, it is manda­tory for a com­pany to seek NOC from Min­istry of De­fense, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion agen­cies and other rel­e­vant depart­ments. The Com­mit­tee was held here under the chair­man­ship of Se­na­tor Mir Muham­mad Yousaf Ba­dini to dis­cuss the im­pact of construction of LNG Ter­mi­nal on Bun­del Is­land.

There­fore, the construction of the ter­mi­nal started only af­ter the due process was car­ried out. The of­fi­cial fur­ther said that the ter­mi­nal is 8km from the De­fence Hous­ing Au­thor­ity and 10km from the port hence does not pose any sig­nif­i­cant threat to the pop­u­la­tion or the se­cu­rity in­stal­la­tions. The of­fi­cial of Sindh En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency (SEPA) also briefed the com­mit­tee and showed their sat­is­fac­tion on the construction of the ter­mi­nal and in­formed that all en­vi­ron­men­tal safety stan­dards were kept in mind prior to the con­struc­tions.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of CDA in­formed the com­mit­tee that fire sub-sta­tion at Dara Jangla in Mar­gal­lah hills was es­tab­lished. The fire ve­hi­cle of fire Bri­gade with crew along with for­est fires pick­ets staff of en­vi­ron­ment direc­torate is work­ing around the clock. A squad of 50 fire­man of direc­torate of Fire and res­cue are avail­able at fire head­quar­ters. The com­mit­tee was at­tended by Se­na­tor Mushahid Hus­sain Sayed, Se­na­tor Taj Haider, Se­na­tor Nuzhat Sadiq, Se­na­tor Per­vaiz Rasheed, Se­na­tor Sam­ina Abid, Se­na­tor Kul­soom Parveen and Se­na­tor Si­tara Ayaz.

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