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Departments asked to repair spurs along Chenab

Departments asked to repair spurs along Chenab

GUJRAT: The Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has asked the provincial irrigation department and the Gujrat district government to take steps for the repair of the damaged spurs along the River Chenab in Gujrat tehsil prior to the rainy season.

PDMA Director General Jawad Akram on Sunday paid a surprise visit to at least five damaged spurs from Spur Number 1 to 5 in the Shahbazpur sector along the Chenab. He directed the irrigation department to call for tenders for starting the damaged spurs’ repair to save lives and properties in any flood situation.

The irrigation department had earlier sought at least Rs460m for the repair of seven damaged spurs in Gujrat tehsil, however, the provincial authorities had reportedly issued directions for giving preference to the spurs that were in more dilapidated condition and five of such spurs had been targeted for repair.

The DG also held a meeting with Gujrat District Coordination Officer Liaqat Ali and Additional District Collector Irfan Ali and reviewed the condition of the spurs along the Chenab.

The meeting was told the district government had already sent the recommendations to the Punjab Irrigation Department for the spurs repair.

Hundreds of acres of the cultivated land of dozens of villages along the river have so far been eaten away by the river due to the consistent erosion following damage to the spurs in the 2014 floods as the authorities had ignored the earlier calls by the villagers to stop the erosion.

However, following the news of the land erosion by the river, published in this newspaper, the provincial government took notice and directed the authorities concerned to take steps in this regard.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2015

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