Sunday Sep 04, 2022
KARACHI: In a bid to save Pakistan’s largest lake and reduce the pressure of water entering the reservoir amid catastrophic floods across the country, the authorities on Sunday made a breach in Manchar Lake's dyke at the RD-14 point.
Confirming the report, Sehwan’s Deputy Commissioner Captain (retd) Fariduddin Mustafa said that the cut was made in the dyke of Manchar Lake at RD-14 near Baug-e-Yusuf.
Manchar Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake in Pakistan and is one of the largest lakes in Asia. It is located 18 km away from Sehwan Sharif in Jamshoro District and Dadu District, west of the Indus River.
“After the breach, the water will enter Indus River by passing through Kiranpur village and Indus Link,” according to the Sindh Irrigation Department.
The breach will reduce the pressure of water entering the lake by 30%, said the officials.
"The next 24 to 48 hours are crucial for the Manchar Lake," the deputy commissioner said, adding that there is pressure on the lake’s dykes from RD-54 to RD-58.
On the other hand, pressure increased on ring embankments raised to protect Johi and Mehar cities from flooding. Residents were dumping stones and other flood-fighting materials to reinforce the dykes.
Matiari city and the National Highway are feared to be submerged as the gate of Chandan branch at Rohri Canal could not be repaired despite the passage of several hours.
Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon shared that the cut has been made in Manchar Lake at the place where Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah's house is.
Speaking to the media in Hyderabad, Memon said that the decision to make a cut at the RD-14 point was taken to save the nearby towns.
Memon said that 125,000 people will have to be displaced due to the five UCs being affected. Government machinery is on site to move the people and the victims will be shifted to nearby districts, he said.
Last night, localities situated near Manchar Lake had been directed to evacuate to safer places as the water level at the lake has increased to a dangerous level, posing a threat to breaking the dyke.
According to Deputy Commissioner Jamshoro Capt (retd.) Farid-Uddin-Mustafa, the water level at the Manchhar lake is continuously on the rise. He said the lake's embankment may cave in at any time. Accordingly, the union councils of Wahar, Bobak, Jaffarabad and Chana should be vacated, he said.
The Deputy Commissioner further directed the people to avoid visiting Manchar Lake unnecessarily as its dyke, RD54 to RD58, is withstanding huge pressure.
The official said the dyke will not be breached and a last-ditch effort will be made [to keep the embankment intact]. "The next 24 to 48 hours are crucial for the Manchhar Lake," he cautioned.