SIALKOT - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif declared on Friday that the provincial government will not leave the flood-affected people alone in their hour of need and will announce a relief package to alleviate their miseries.  Shahbaz Sharif revealed that the PML-N government was implementing an effective flood-fighting strategy to combat the recurring flood threats in the country.

The Punjab chief minister stated this while addressing a high-level meeting held at Sialkot International Airport here after taking an aerial review of the flood-hit areas in Head Marala, Pasrur and surrounding areas on Friday.

The Punjab CM informed that the Punjab government was well aware of the flood devastation and directed the senior officials gear up for combating flood disasters. Shahbaz Sharif pledged that the provincial governments would not leave the flood-affected people in the lurch and would announce a relief package for them soon.  Several provincial ministers, local parliamentarians, Gujranwala Division Commissioner Tariq Najeeb Najami, Sialkot DCO Iftikhar Ali Sahu, DO (Coordination) Malik Abid Hussain Awan and Deputy Director Public Relations Malik Ghulam Abbas Awan were also present on the occasion.

Earlier, the Punjab chief minister took an aerial view of the flood-hit areas near Head Marala-Sialkot, Pasrur, Zafarwal, Qila Ahmedabad and surrounding areas in a helicopter. The district administration gave a detailed briefing to the CM regarding flood situation in Sialkot district.

CMShahbaz also asked the officials concerned to conduct a survey of the flood-hit areas to assess losses to crops and property caused by the flash floods in River Chenab, River Jammu Tavi and seasonal Nullahs - Aik, Dek, Palkhu, Bhed, Baeen and Bassanter in both neighbouring Sialkot and Narowal districts.

He also sought progress in preparations of feasibility report regarding re-channelization and re-alignment of the flooded Nullah Dek from Qila Ahmedabad to Tatley Wali village to save the villages of Pasrur, Zafarwal, Qila Ahmedabad and surrounding areas from recurring flood disasters here.

During the meeting, the CM was told that the early channelizing of Naullah Dek was direly needed to save Pasrur villages from flood disaster, saying that Punjab Irrigation Secretary Ch Nazir Ahmed had already been directed to prepare PC-1 for the project of establishing the 6 kilometers long protective dyke (bund) along Nullah Dek near village Chahoor-Pasrur.

The chief minister also asked the provincial and district administrations to ensure early reconstruction of the several Pullies (small sized bridges) over flooded Nullah Dek near villages Punj Graayeen, Kukka Pan, Chahoor and Qila Ahmedabad as these Pullies were washed away due to the recent flash flood in Nullah Dek in Pasrur tehsil here. Meanwhile, briefing to the chief minister, Sialkot DCO Iftikhar Ali Sahu said that the administration had declared ‘flood emergency’ in the district following high flood in River Chenab at Head Marala. The meeting was further told that a big peak of 400,000 cusecs in River Chenab had passed through Head Marala Barrage following an abnormal discharge by India in River Chenab towards Pakistan. He said that special vigilance teams were monitoring the flood situation in River Chenab round the clock.

Meanwhile, the chief minister announced Rs0.5m financial compensation to the family of 12-year-old Muhammad Arsalan who drowned in flooded Nullah Bhed in on Wednesday. The CM visited the bereaved family and condoled the sad demise of the boy. Local parliamentarians were also present on this occasion. Later, the CM also went to the flooded areas of Sialkot city inundated by recent flash floods caused by the spates in Nullahs Aik, Bhed and Palkhu.