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Special Report:
Flood Crisis

1
 

 
Punjab flood report put under wraps

Flood Crisis Home

By Intikhab Hanif               

LAHORE, May 11, 2011: The report of the judicial inquiry into last year`s devastating floods, titled “A Rude Awakening”, has been concealed by the Punjab government reportedly to keep its “unfavourable contents” away from the public eye.

The government had ordered the judicial inquiry while boasting about its determination to punish all those found guilty of not coming up to the monumental challenge of two rare spates of flood in the Indus River during the last monsoon, causing devastation right from the mountainous region to the Arabian Sea.

The tribunal, headed by Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, had handed over its report to the provincial home secretary at a ceremony held in the Lahore High Court on April 11.

The judge unsealed the report and handed it over to the home secretary in the presence of journalists, but the latter took it with him. Since then, the report has been under wraps.

Officials in the home department say they know nothing about the report, but do admit that it might contain something which is preventing the Punjab government from making it public.

According to information gathered by Dawn, the report runs into 475 pages and is supported by 91 appendices spread over 30,594 pages.

 


AThe tribunal, comprising Mr Abdul Sattar Shakir and Mr Shafqat Masood (Member), commenced its proceedings on Sept 14 last year.

The area under inquiry was the entire portion of the River Indus within Punjab, starting from Jinnah Barrage down to upstream Guddu Barrage and breaches that were required to be investigated, including the Left Guide Bund

(LGB) at Jinnah Barrage, Right Marginal Bund (RMB) at Taunsa Barrage, Jampur Bund and Fakhar Flood Bund in district Rajanpur.

In order to hear grievances of the people affected by floods, the tribunal held hearings in affected districts and the areas under inquiry.

Public notices were published in national, local and regional newspapers, giving a detailed programme of the tribunal and its visit to affected districts with additional facility of registering grievances of the people with civil judges concerned.

District and sessions judges concerned were directed to nominate civil judges of the districts of Mianwali, Bhakkar, Layyah, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur for receiving complaints on behalf of the tribunal.

The tribunal held hearings in Mianwali, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur districts. The tribunal also travelled through these districts inspecting bunds, examining departmental representatives and granting hearings to complainants.

It examined officers from Irrigation and Power Department, Federal Flood Commission, Pakistan Metrological Department, Flood Relief Commissioner, Home Department, Planning and Development Department, Planning Commission, Health Department, National Disaster Management Authority, (NDMA), 1122 Emergency Service, Environment Protection Department, Pakistan Railways, C & W Department, Livestock and Dairy Development Department, Housing Urban Development and Public Health Engineering Department and Industries Department.


Courtesy: The DAWN

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