SIALKOT - The district administration expressed grave concern over the non-establishment of 5.5 kilometre protective dyke over the River Chenab near village Maahiwal to save hundreds of villages, Sialkot Airport and Sialkot Tannery Zone from flood disaster.

The Sialkot deputy commissioner visited the site and reviewed the situation. He was told that the protective dyke had not yet been established by the government. He said that there was a dire need of early establishment of protective dyke to save 200 villages of Bela Areas, Sambrial tehsil and in surrounding areas.

He ordered a probe into the matter. The affected people said that due to the critical condition, dozens of surrounding villages including Rakh Nowshera, Khasa, Chhani Gondal, Gaggar Mughalaan, Dheengowal,  Maahiwal, Dor R.B.,  Bhakhreywali, Kulluwal, Majra Kalan, Sambrial, Suraj, Kot Maha Raj, Hambokey and Kaliyaar are at the mercy of the coming floods in River Chenab.

The local people added that there was a dire need of early establishment of 5.5km protective dyke along the banks of River Chenab. The monsoon season is on and the flood in River Chenab would wash out 31 villages of Sambrial tehsil completely and 71 other villages would partially be affected, they feared.

The officials of Sialkot district administration said that if a flow of 200,000 cusecs floodwater in River Chenab at Head Marala-Sialkot, passes through the river, the floodwater would badly affect the 200 villages in Bela Area, all the villages in Sambrial Tehsil. It will badly affect the two mega projects of Sialkot international airport and Sialkot Tannery Zone, they said.

They added that the protective dyke was to be constructed under the ongoing project of a bridge over River Chenab near Shehbazpur to connect both the Sialkot and Gujrat districts.

On the other hand, the bridge over River Chenab at Shehbazpur has already been completed, but certain areas in both Sialkot and Gujrat districts have been left at the mercy of the circumstances, they said. They added no practical steps have yet been taken by the Punjab government's Communication and Works Department to ensure the construction of the 5.5km protective dyke at the area.

Meanwhile, local people told newsmen that the flow of the three local Nallahs has also been blocked due to which these Nallahs will overflow inundating dozens of surrounding villages. They said that the coming floods in River Chenab would badly affect the rural population of both Sialkot and Gujrat districts.

The hundreds of the people belonging to dozens of the surrounding villages staged a demonstration and lodged their strong protest against the non-construction of the protective dyke. They said that the fast flow of water in River Chenab will kill them. The affected people urged the government to save their lives.

Meanwhile, the managements of Sialkot international airport and Sialkot Tannery Zone have also appealed to the government to save these projects from coming flood disasters.

Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Tahir Wattu directed the concerned officials of the Sialkot district administration to communicate the entire situation to the Punjab government for further action.