Chairman Federal Flood Commission (FFC) Ahmad Kamal has warned that the monsoon pattern has extended to other parts of the country which could cause super floods this year during the monsoon season.
Briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Water Resources on Tuesday, which met with Nawab Yousuf Talpur in the chair, the FFC chairman said that an additional 25 districts came under influence of the monsoon due to a shift in rainfall zone from North East to North West.
Due to this climatic change, out of the recently added 25 districts, 14 from Punjab and 11 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa could experience flooding, he said.
He said super floods in 2010 caused $10 billion loss while the country suffered an additional $9 billion loss due to flash flooding from 2011 to 2015.
The water sector has been badly ignored in the past, Kamal lamented, adding that only 3.7 percent of total PSDP for year 2017-18 was allocated for the sector, and that 14 to 34 years would be required to complete the ongoing water projects.
He said no permanent Indus Water Commissioner was appointed during the last two years.
The FFC chairman said the 10-year National Flood Protection Plan-IV had been prepared with an estimated cost of Rs.332 billion.
It would be implemented in two phases: phase-I would cost Rs.177.661 billion and phase-II 154.585 billion.
He said the plan had already been approved by the Council of Common Interests (CCI).
The federal government and provinces would share its cost 50:50. The plan has been sent to the Planning Commission for approval, he informed.
Implementation of the proposed plan would start this year if approved.
The NA panel was further informed that the country received 61 inch snow this year which was more than usual.
The FFC held its meeting in March to review the situation due to heavy snow and good winter rains, he added.
Preparations made by various departments were reviewed in the meeting, he added.
He said consultation would also be made with WAPDA, IRSA, NDMA and Indus Water Commission in mid-April.
The Met Department forecasts rain on a monthly basis but from July it starts forecasting on a weekly basis before the monsoon season, he added.
He said initially, an amount of Rs.15 billion has been sought from the government for fiscal year 2019-20.
Japan has provided state of the art radar to the Met Office for forecasting.
The Committee also expressed displeasure over absence of IRSA’s officials in the meeting and convening IRSA’s Advisory Committee.
Yousuf Talpur said that a letter would be written to Speaker National Assembly about IRSA’s Advisory Committee meeting.
He also directed to write letters to all provincial Chief Secretaries about absence of provincial irrigation secretaries in the NA body meetings.
MNA Ali Nawaz Awan said that there was severe shortage of technical persons in the institutions.
The committee also summoned Islamabad mayor and IRSA officials in the next meeting.
The meeting was attended by MNAs Ali Nawaz Awan, Ch Shoukat Ali Bhatti, Muhammad Farooq Malik, Ch Javed Iqbal Warraich, Kanwa; Shauzeb, Maryum Aurangzeb, Kahlid Hussain Magsi, Riaz ul Haq and Munir Orakzai.