HYDERABAD: Revitalization works of natural rivers, Dhoro Puran and others, in the districts of Mirpurkhas and Badin, estimated at Rs 2 billion, will be carried out to help the rivers to follow their old courses and to discharge into the spinal drain of the left bank discharge drain (LBOD) which falls into the sea.
The works to be carried out by the development wing of the Sindh Irrigation Department would form part of an already approved program worth 4,788.223 million rupees, the total cost of which would then amount to more than 6 billion rupees. Rupees, officials said.
The LBOD dissects Dhoro Puran in four places, RD-276, RD-261, RD-238 and RD-211 due to what irrigation experts think of its faulty design and suggest underpasses for the drain.
Sindh Irrigation Minister Jam Khan Shoro recently visited the marked locations that were in Mirpurkhas and Badin districts, where he was briefed on the problems arising from the construction of the LBOD. He inspected different sections of the drain to understand the problem and find a solution.
LBOD was built by Wapda in the 1990s and handed over initially to the Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (SIDA), then to the Sindh Irrigation Department.
The minister was accompanied by members of the Sindh Assembly, whose constituencies were hit hard by heavy rains that breached the LBOD last year and inundated large swathes of farmland.
Blocked sections of natural streams including Dhoro Puran, Hakro Dhoro and old drainage pockets that were to be connected to the LBOD caused rainwater to accumulate in the areas and worsened conditions.
Dhoro Puran is considered to be an ancient channel of the Indus River, which functioned as a drain while receiving runoff from monsoon rains and other natural streams.
Irrigation officials told Dawn that Hakro Dhoro fell in Dhoro Puran near Naukot, and then both fell into the LBOD’s spinal drain at RD-261 together. Dhoro Puran’s problem had been a long-standing issue since LBOD was built in the 1990s, they said.
During the rains of 2011, the LBOD also caused massive devastation due to the blocking of ancient rivers, including Dhoro Puran and Hakro Dhoro, which had been blocked by encroachments and human settlements in various places.
The government of Sindh at the time spent around 5 billion rupees but failed to achieve the desired results.
The old course of Dhoro Puran was intersected by a spinal drain between RD-305 to RD-211. “Dhoro Puran is originally from the north of the city of Mirpurkhas and after passing through the city it runs parallel to the left bank of the MMD (Mirpurkhas Main Drain).
“Wastewater from the MMD falls into the spinal drain at RD-297 which first deviated from its natural course as part of the LBOD Stage-I project in the 1990s,” said the chief engineer of the development region II, Zarif Khero.
He said that the spinal drain intersected Dhoro Puran at RD 297, 276, 251, 238 and 211. From the RD-211 of the spinal drain, the Dhoro follows its natural course towards the southeast and falls to its ultimate destination. in the sea.
The Minister of Irrigation and MPAs discussed the problems faced by people during monsoon rains and flooding caused by LBOD over the years. They shared their views on possible solutions to make the system efficient and avoid the rain-related damage exacerbated by LBOD.
According to Khero, it had now been decided to revive the natural ways of the ancient rivers, in particular the Dhoro Puran, hence the need to carry out the work urgently.
A former program titled “Restoration / Rehabilitation of LBOD and Kotri Drainage Network System including Dhoras Activation” (phase II) has been executed to restore natural waterways, he said.
He said some works were on hold due to land acquisition issues and litigation. Underpasses were to be constructed with a discharge regulator along the spinal drain for which a stain had been identified between RD-238 to RD-211. “The underpasses were not originally part of the old system,” he said.
He said the underpasses will now be included in the Rs2bn program in addition to the already approved program of Rs4,788,223m. A proposal has been sent to the government for the inclusion of Rs2bn’s work in the approved program, he said.
Posted in Dawn, December 14, 2021