Chairman Federal Flood Commission Ahmed Kamal says cyclonic activity in coasts along Karachi and Balochistan has gradually increased due to rising sea levels caused by global warming, resulting in heavy downpours.
In an exclusive interview with the News and Current Affairs Channel of Radio Pakistan on Wednesday, he said the coast of Karachi was impacted by cyclonic activity in 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2014. He said incidents of urban flooding are rising in Karachi due to heat generated by unplanned urbanization.
Ahmed Kamal attributed the outdated water sewerage system as another reason of recent flooding in Sindh metropolis. He said the streams of Layari and Malir have shrunk from their width of around 500 feet in 1947 to almost 80 feet now due to illegal encroachments, putting additional strain on flow of sewerage water. He said sewerage water streams have also been chocked by hard materials like plastics and other household items.
The Chairman said the Federal Flood Commission is working in close liaison with all national institutions, including NDMA and WAPDA, to cope with any emergency situation arising out of likely floods in federal capital.
He said the commission in coordination with Planning Commission of Pakistan, is independently monitoring the flood situation in the country.
The Chairman said the Commission has identified twenty cities across the country that are vulnerable to urban flooding. These include seven cities each of Sindh and Punjab and three each of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Replying to question, he said commission, in collaboration with WAPDA and NDMA established flood telemetry stations across the country to record water level following rains in the country.
Replying to another question, the chairman said all provinces of the country usually prepare flood fighting plans at district levels before every monsoon season to mitigate threats with regard to expected floods in the country.
Responding to a query about water terrorism by India, he said under Indus Waters Treaty, India was bound to disseminate information about flow of water from Eastern Rivers, but unfortunately New Delhi did not extend cooperation to Islamabad, especially after 2019.
He said the Federal Flood commission was established in 1977, with an aim to prepare plans to assess damages caused by flash floods at national level in the country.
Ahmed Kamal said the Federal Flood Commission provides advisory services to the Ministry of Water Resources on issues like Engineering, Water and Power sector, including flood control, dams safety, irrigation, drainage, and hydro-power, besides, other allied engineering matters at national level.
The Chairman said the Commission had established in 2005 after undertaking various research studies that country needs five major dams to store water that could store 25 to 28 million acre feet of water. Appreciating the starting of work on Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dams and seventy other small dams by the incumbent government, he said these water reservoirs could store 10 to 12 million acre feet of water.
Giving a brief detail of the history of Federal Flood Commission, Ahmed Kamal said a Central Engineering Authority was constituted after creation of Pakistan to manage the issues of water, power and allied engineering matters at national level. He said the Authority was re-designated as Chief Engineering Advisor’s office after establishment of Water & Power Development Authority (WAPDA) in 1959.
Ahmed Kamal said in January 1977, Federal Flood Commission (FFC) was established for the purpose of integrated flood management at national level.