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    Punjab PDMA Issues Alert as Sutlej River Rises

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    The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) in Punjab has issued a “high alert” as water levels continue to rise in rivers in the region. The alert comes after India released additional water into the Sutlej River, posing a threat to riverine areas in Pakistan. The Meteorological Department has also forecasted more monsoon rains in the coming days, further exacerbating the situation.

    India’s decision to release more water into the Sutlej River follows heavy downpours in the catchment areas of the Sutlej and Ravi Rivers in northern India. As a result, water levels in downstream areas of Pakistan are steadily increasing. According to sources in the Indus Waters Commission, Indian authorities are sharing flood data with Pakistan, as required by the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960.

    The official stated that approximately 169,000 cusecs of water from India’s Ferozepur headworks entered Pakistan through the Ganda Singh Wala headworks at Kasur. Currently, the Sutlej River is flowing at a medium-flood level, but with the anticipation of more torrential rains in the Indian catchment areas, water levels may rise further in the coming days.

    Under the Indus Waters Treaty, India is obligated to share flood-related data and the amount of water Pakistan is entitled to under the treaty. The Punjab Relief Commissioner has directed commissioners and deputy commissioners of affected areas to make necessary preparations, including the evacuation of residents in low-lying regions, to prevent any untoward situations.

    The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) reported a medium-level flood in Harike, Indian Punjab, which is expected to reach Ganda Singhwala village in Kasur district within the next 24 hours. Rescue teams have already initiated evacuations from villages along the river banks in Kasur, with over 650 people relocated thus far. Evacuations are expected to continue if water levels continue to rise.

    In Chiniot, water from the Chenab River entered low-lying areas, damaging crops and farmhouses. The Chiniot district, spanning over 100 kilometers along the Chenab River, experienced a medium-level flood, submerging crops and causing damage to several farmhouses. However, no casualties have been reported in the affected areas.

    Water levels at the Marala and Khanki headworks have started to recede gradually. The local administration had previously relocated families living along the banks of the Chenab River as a precautionary measure. The Meteorological Department has issued warnings of more rains, predicting their impact on various regions, including Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

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