KARACHI – Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah has directed all the departments concerned to strictly implement the “Pre-Monsoon 2012 Contingency Plan” so that the damages and losses during heavy rains and floods, as forecasted by the Metrological Department, could be minimised. He directed the Deputy Commissioners of the province not to leave their respective district headquarters without prior permission from chief secretary or relevant divisional commissioners and should effectively monitor the pre-monsoon pre-cautionary measures by all the departments concerned.He observed this while presiding over a high level meeting to review the pre-monsoon 2012 arrangements at the CM House on Monday night.The meeting was attended by Sindh Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Minister for Irrigation Jam Saifullah Dharejo, Minister for Rehabilitation Muzaffar Shujra, Advisor to C.M Sindh for Relief Haleem Adil Shaikh, Chief Secretary Sindh Raja Muhammad Abbas, Principal Secretary to CM Agha Jan Akhtar, Secretary Irrigation Sindh Babar Effendi, Secretary Finance Sindh Naveed Kamran Baloch, DG PDMA and Commissioners of Karahci, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Larkano and Sukkur divisons. Qaim directed the authorities concerned to strengthen and fully equip the District Disaster Management Authorities and ensure the availability of Abkalani material at headquarters of DDMAs to have an immediate and urgent response during any eventuality. Tents, mosquito nets, blankets, life saving jackets, boats, dewatering pumps, fire brigades and ambulances should also be arranged at these places while coordinated efforts be made by all the departments to avoid the duplication of the efforts, he added. He said that though the heavy rainfall had been predicted by weather forecast agencies but there was no need to create unnecessary panic among the people as provincial government had evolved an effective planning to face any emergency like situation. “All the stakeholder departments are well prepared and last two years consecutive experience for rescue and relief activities will also help to a great deal,” he added.  Qaim asked the PDMA and divisional commissioners for formulation of district and taluka level committees for arranging risk management, rescue, relief, vigilance, transport, machinery, health, sanitation, food, veterinary and hygiene. He directed the DCs to identify places at high points for installation of tents and relief camps so that immediate shifting of low-lying communities should be made easy during rains and floods. He directed for early completion of remaining work on LBOD while the Secretary Irrigation Sindh informed that there was even not a single breach opened and all the breaches have been plugged and all rains bunds have been strengthened. Construction of new drains in Jhudo, Badin and Tando Allahyar are under process and 80 percent of work has been completed so-far, he added. Irrigation secretary Affendi said that MPAs, local communities and representatives of growers were also monitoring the ongoing work at different places, adding that this work will be completed before the planned deadline of June 31, 2012 at any cost. The chief minister said that President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari has directed to remove encroachments from river embankments while Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Police and all other department should cooperate with irrigation department to evacuate the encroachments and strict legal action be taken against the encroachers. Mirpurkhas Commissioner informed the meeting that encroachments from Jhudo, Dhoro Puran and Sarfraz Dhoro have been removed. He informed that there was fear among people and they were reluctant to cultivate the crops as the NDMA and Pakistan Metrological Department had forecast weather too early. Jam Saifullah Dharejo said that Irrigation Department had faced numerous challenges in previous years’ floods and strategy with improved measures is being evolved. Advisor to the CM for Relief Haleem Adil Shaikh stressed upon the need to get cooperation from international community, INGOs, and donor agencies as even well developed countries cannot face the natural disasters individually. He added that international community/donors were ready to provide all kind of support as they did in last year’s flood, we only need to facilitate them and properly guide them to reach at the affected areas. He told that in Durban climate change conference, it was informed that environmental risk-wise Pakistan has jumped to number 16 from its previous 29 number in the list of most sensitive countries as far as environmental hazards are concerned. He stressed upon the need to activate the civil society and campaign be launched among people of vulnerable areas about how to face disaster. The meeting was briefed by Irrigation and PDA Departments about the pre-monsoon contingency plan, stakeholders role and coordination mechanism. PDMA Chairman highlighted and defined the pre, during and post disaster responsibilities of revenue, education, police, agriculture, civil defence, livestock, fisheries, Pakistan Metrological Department and armed forces.Affendi added that total length of flood protection infrastructure is 1325 miles, which include front line Bunds of 875 miles, loop Bunds of 331 miles while Flood Protection (F.P) Bund is 119 miles. All the vulnerable points have been raised and strengthened, he added. Talking about long-term combating efforts, he mentioned that after 2010 floods, 76 schemes for up-gradation of system were identified for which loan was negotiated with the Asian Development Bank. He said stone stocks at vulnerable points had already been arranged, machines like excavators, dozers, tractor trolleys and other vehicles at every 10 miles along Bund lines will be deployed. He said that master plan on left bank of river Indus prepared by M/s Louis Berger for up-gradation of drainage system including activation of old dhoras are also under process. He said that during rainfall 2012 substantial damage was caused on which 80 percent progress of restoration work had been achieved and rest of work would be completed before the deadline June 30. Affendi informed that in total 242 electricity and diesel dewatering pumps are available at drainage division Shaheed Benazirabad, Nasir division, Hala division, Jamhsoro division, Mithrao division and Tharparkar division.