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LAHORE: The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) withheld flood warning after carrying out technical evaluation of Indian media reports regarding release of 240,000 cusecs water by India last week which turned out to be a hoax.

According to sources, the rescue teams of Pakistan Army, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), Water and Sanitation Authority (WASA) and provincial civil administration were all set to carry out evacuation operation up to Shahdrah Town, Lahore, in case of issuance of a warning without proper evaluation.

“Personnel from the Engineering Corps of Pakistan Army were on their feet to avert any crisis like situation as the water level could be at the height of 38 feet at the point of Shahdrah Town in case India had released 240,000 cusecs flood water in River Ravi,” said sources from PMD.

It may be noted that one Indian TV channel ‘Punb Aab’ had aired a news regarding release of water by India which was carried by other Indian and local media outlets, ringing alarm bells on the part of civil administration on Pakistani side.

So much so, the Indian counterpart had not responded to a letter written by Pakistani Indus Water Commission in this regard. Meanwhile, the media was flashing breaking news regarding release of flood water by India towards Pakistan.

Director PMD Shahid Abbas said the situation was quite perplexed for the department as India was not responding to queries officially. In the past, he recalled, India used to deceive Pakistan by providing wrong information on release of water towards Pakistan. In some cases, it used to release water the very next day after denying it categorically. Sometimes, the water is released in advance and they are provided no information. While in some cases, they used to tell a lie by releasing water in three hours while claiming that it would be released after 36 hours, he said.

According to him, it was a catch-22 situation for the department as whether it should issue flood warning without confirmation, any such exercise could lead to a formal start of evacuation of population from the relevant areas and localities. All the deputy commissioners, along with support staff from other rescue departments, in the province were on high alert, waiting for call from us being the custodian of the whole of the country, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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