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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, in his meeting with British High Commissioner Dr. Christian Turner, said that the reclamation of flooded lands of the province would need expert guidance and technical support from Britain and the Netherlands.

The meeting was held at CM House and was attended by Deputy High Commissioner Sarah Mooney, Director Development Sandra Baldwin, and Deputy Director Batool Zehra.

The chief minister was assisted by his special assistant Syed Qasim Naveed, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput and Secretary to CM Raheem Shaikh.

Shah said that if the agricultural lands remained under water, they would lose their fertility. He asked for study by the British and Netherlands experts to guide technically how the lands could be saved.

The British High Commissioner assured the chief minister that his government would support Sindh. He added that he and chief secretary Sindh would coordinate for requesting Netherlands experts and work out an action plan.

The CM said that the climate change and current heavy rains call for preparing a future plan to construct a proper drainage system for rains and hill torrent deluges. “We are planning to restore original and natural waterways all over Sindh,” he said and added his government would also need expert and technical support from the British government and donor agencies.

However, the British High Commissioner offered his condolences over the loss of lives during the heavy rains. He said that the British government would support the Sindh government to rehabilitate the affected people.

The chief minister briefed the visiting diplomat about the devastations of the heavy rains and hill torrents on both sides of the River Indus. He said that the hill torrents of the Khirthar Range have no other routes but to end in Manchhar Lake.

He said six-foot high flood protective dyke failed to contain hill torrents and they caused multiple breaches into it; therefore various cities and towns went inundated. He said the LBOD and the spinal drains could not carry the quantum of rainfall smoothly into Shakoor Lake or the sea. “We will have to restore old water ways on the left bank also,” the CM said.

Shah told the British envoy that more than 1.5 million people have been displaced. He said there is a dire need for tents to accommodate the homeless people. However, the British high commissioner said that their government was sending 50 containers loaded with non-food items such as tent-type shelters, plastic sheets, and other materials. The chief thanked the British government for its support.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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