LAHORE The Punjab government has so far not taken any action against the officials of the Irrigation and Power Department and other contractors responsible for breaches during 2010 catastrophic floods despite the court orders in its inquiry report. This was observed by the Actionaid Punjab Head Saqlain Daud after a seminar organized by the Centre for Peace and Democracy held in collaboration with the Actionaid Pakistan here at a local hotel. Talking to The Nation, Mr Saqlain said the current rains spell in Sindh is not so severe and could not be blamed for peoples suffering, as they are facing hardships mainly due to the braches in the dams which are not poorly built due to corruption. He said that the Lahore High Court had officially released report of an inquiry conducted by a judicial tribunal on causes of major breaches in river Indus during the exceptionally high floods last year. He said that the government had not taken any action against the responsible and delinquent officials in the light of the judicial inquiry. He said that no measures had been taken for creation of wildlife sanctuaries and protection of the environment of the riverine areas. Meanwhile, the speakers in the seminar titled Flood inquiry commission report and its recommendations said that as per the Supreme Court as well as the Lahore High Court flood inquiry reports the poor governance and mismanagement of the barrages are the immediate causes of breaches, leading to catastrophic floods in the country. The speakers underlined the need for construction of new dams especially in flood-hit areas to avert the havoc caused by the floods in Sindh and other parts of the country. They said that once again the flood in Sindh has rendered more than 0.6 million people homeless besides badly destroying crops only due to breeches. Centre for peace and democracy Chairman Shuaib Adil said that surprisingly, the report has cleared the politicians of any wrongdoing, and entire responsibility of the mismanagement has been put on the ministry of I & P and its secretary. He said that last year after the flood, the media accused the local landlords of breach in bunds to save their landholdings, but the report negate all that allegations. Actionaid Punjab Head addressing the participants of the seminar said that the PML-N is sitting quietly on the report of the judicial inquiry into the floods of 2010. He said the report titled, A Rude Awakening authored by A judge of the Lahore High Court, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, has held the ministry of irrigation and power (I&P) responsible first for lack of preparedness and then ineffective response to watery offensives when it started hitting barrages and bunds falling in Punjab. According to the report, fundamental flood fighting material was astonishingly found missing which amounted to a critical omission. Quoting the report, he said that at Taunsa Barrage, a confused management structure under the PMO, violation of regulations and poor flood fighting resulted in collapse of LMB at RD 32-33 and then subsequently at RD 34-40. Jampur Bund breached at many places, due to poor maintenance, weak vigilance while Fakhar Flood Bund breached due to over-topping for similar reasons. He said that encroachments inside river beds and flood plains have not been removed yet while no disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against delinquent officials. In the same way not a single repair has been undertaken anywhere in this regard. Engineer Mumtaz Akhtar said that the floods caused havoc last year and this year the floods again left many people homeless besides damaging homes, educational institutions and crops but our authorities are not still sincere for building dams. He said that the flood brought havoc to the Sindh province and all the crops were completely submerged. He also underlined the need for more dams for a better irrigation system in the country. He said fogging campaign must be launched before the monsoon season. He also called for constructing small dams for water storage and to avoid floods during monsoon season. Ehsanul Haq Nolatia, MPA from Muzaffar Garh, held responsible every politician as well as the bureaucracy for breeching in the embankments, saying all political leaders should rise above party politics and visit the affected areas to express solidarity with the affected people. He suggested constitution of a parliamentary committee to monitor transparent disbursements of relief goods. He said that flood inquiry report recommends that the secretary, irrigation & power, concerned commissioners, and district coordination officers shall be held responsible for any lapse, but nothing was done in this regard. He observed that he along with few nazims had appeared before the flood inquiry commission and pointed out several important issues but the report has missed all those points. He said that on the influence of Khosa family the whole population of Muzaffargarh suffered as the floodwater diverted wrongly to their area. He said that at Jinnah Barrage the right side remained closed during medium flood generating pressure on the LGB. Absence of reserve stones made the flood fighting plan totally ineffective. Dr Mehdi Hassan throwing light on role of media during floods, said that instead of criticizing the govt the media should try to create awareness among the masses so that they could encourage each other adopting the way of self-help. He said that instead of saying that the govt funds for the flood affected areas are not sufficient, they should suggest measures to avoid such catastrophies in future. Media should call for transparent disbursement of relief goods among the affected people. It should also suggest long term measures including construction of dams to avert floods in future. He said that media always says that the people need attention of the international community in this hour of trial, asking the government to divert maximum fund for the relief and rehabilitation of flood affected.This is not right way, it should encourage the local people to come forward to help their brethren.He flayed the media for exaggerating the miseries of the flood affected properly. The speakers said that the flood inquiry tribunal was constituted on September 2, to get to the bottom of breach at Left Guide Bund (LGB) at Jinnah Barrage, Left Marginal Bund at Taunsa Barrage, Jampur Bund and the Fakhar Flood Bund to fix responsibility on the delinquents besides giving other recommendations. They said that the tribunal recommended the competent authority to initiate departmental disciplinary proceedings against irrigation & power secretary for his inefficiency. It further recommended that till the conclusion of the departmental inquiry secretary be immediately replaced so that the department did not face the next flood season of 2011 under his stewardship.