Members of Pakistan Navy personnel take part in a rescue operation in flooded Mehar city after heavy monsoon rains in Dadu district on September 9, 2022. — AFP

The government’s efforts to allay pressure on the brimming Manchar Lake through controlled cuts have failed to yield desired results as floodwater inundated the outskirts of Bhan Syedabad on Friday.

The water from the lake entered the Indus Link Canal on the outskirts of the city from where it made its way into Dal branch.

However, Dal branch being a seasonal stream failed to sustain the pressure and a 4-feet-wide breach occurred close to the CNG pump on the main bypass outside Bhan Syedabad.

Bhan Syedabad Assistant Engineer Irrigation Vijay Kumar said the branch was sealed, however breaches in the Indus Link Canal forced the water into it and under pressure, the branch gave way.

After their initial attempts to seal the breach failed, residents scurried to build a ring embankment around the city with little hope of it saving the area.

Adam Maingal, a resident of Bhan Syedabad, told Dawn that there was no chance for the city to be protected from flooding.

Calling the situation critical as the water surrounded Bhan Syedabad, Maingal said citizens were struggling to protect the city through the ring bund as the water was moving towards the city centre.

To the city’s west, the water from Manchar Lake has still failed to make its way into the Indus River.

With the water level rising, the water has unnaturally started moving upstream towards Dadu.

Irrigation Cell Incharge at Manchhar lake Sher Mohammad Mallah said the water was flowing from the lake into the river Indus through the cuts but despite that the level has not receded.

As the situation deteriorated, authorities made two more cuts in the Indus river’s dyke in Karampur area of Sehwan taluka late Thursday night and Friday morning.

The two cuts have led to the discharge of water that had accumulated in the area after relief cuts were made in the lake on Sept 4 and 5.

Meanwhile, another cut was planned near Talti union council however the plan was shelved due to the unfavourable water level in the river.

“The cuts were planned … [but] not implemented as Indus river’s flow remained heavy”, Sindh Special Secretary Irrigation Jamal Mangan told Dawn over the phone.

The situation has led to mass exodus from Talti, Bhan Syedabad, Malook Shah and other areas since Wednesday.

Earlier on Thursday night, irrigation authorities and Jamshoro district administration led by Deputy Commissioner Fareeduddin Mustafa, and member National Assembly from Sehwan Sardar Sikandar Rahpoto gave an order for 200 feet wide cuts at RD 99 and 100 RD at LS bund at Karampur city in Sehwan.

Rahpoto said that Bubak, Arazi, Wahur, Pakka Channa, Dal, Talti, Manahyon areas were flooded, and the water threatened other areas as well. He added that since the water level has reduced in the Indus River, the water from the lake was flowing into it from the cuts.

According to latest reports, the water level in Manchhar lake has increased from 122.2RL to 122.35RL, as it was receiving more flows from Main Nara Valley Drain and other channels in the vicinity.

Meanwhile, downstream at Sukkur barrage, the water level of the river at Dadu-Moro bridge also dropped from 130.25ft on Thursday to 129.9ft on Friday.

The upstream and downstream flows at the barrage remained at the ‘normal level’ of 199,020 cusecs. With this level, the river has not reverted back to its pre-flood state, allaying the dangers of flooding, Aziz Soomro, an official of the Sukkur barrage control room said.

At Kotri barrage, upstream flows were recorded at 604087 cusecs on Friday, while downstream was 583,282 cusecs.

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