WAPDA AGREED TO CONDUCT RESURVEY OF MANGLA DAM:

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 Post-earthquake scenario of panic stricken lake city of Mirpur AJK:

Altaf Hamid Rao;

MIRPUR, (Parliament Times):  Local WAPDA authorities here on Thursday principally agreed to exercise underground seismic survey of the country’s largest Mangla dam reservoir to ascertain the real causes of the breaking out of recent frequent earthquakes in lake city of Mirpur and its adjoining areas in Azad Jammu Kashmir. Indication to this effect was given by Chief Engineer WAPDA Mangla Abdul Majeed Sheikh in a high level emergent meeting with the senior officials of Mirpur Division and district administration held here Thursday with Divisional Commissioner Ch. Muhammad Raqeeb in the chair .

Mirpur Div. – WAPDA authorities joined heads in an emergent meeting here Thursday to ascertain real cause of repeated earthquakes in AJK’s lake-city of Mirpur: Mirpur Div. Commissioner Muhammad Raqeeb informed WAPDA authorities of the grave concern and panic, that gripped local population over the repeated earthquakes in Mirpur and adjoining areas following the frequent 4.3 magnitude earthquakes that jolted Mirpur on July 7 and 8 mid nights consecutively.

Local population including the experts feel recent raising of Mangla dam, located in Mirpur district of AJK, the basic cause of the repeated earthquakes that had earlier experienced on September 24 last year and June 13, this year.

Chief Engineer WAPDA Mangla Abdul Majeed Sheikh categorically refuted the impression about the high water level pressure in the reservoir as the cause of the recent earthquakes. He continued that in the follow up of the recent earthquakes in Mirpur, WAPDA has installed at least 200 equipment along the 50-km jurisdiction of Mangla dam to collect the data emerging of the monitoring of seepage and seismic survey of the reservoir. “WAPDA has already undertaken the survey of the dam soon after the recent earthquakes in response to the desires of the local population”, the WAPDA official said adding that the Authority was fully agreed to conduct the re-survey of the dam if AJK government was sought of it.

Sheikh said that WAPDA will never compromise on the safety and security of the Mirpur district population and the Mangla dam, the major contributor of power to the national gird besides the irrigation of a bulk part of the agrarian land in the country. “WAPDA always stands with the Mirpur population”, the WAPDA officer said. The WAPDA Chief Engineer stated that last year and the recent repeated earthquakes in Mirpur were not the cause of Mangla Dam or its raising project that had completed about seven years ago. He appealed to the local population to refrain from spreading rumors including, what he described, the baseless media reports including in social media in connection with the quality and conditions of Mangla dam – especially soon after every earthquake.

“Mangla Dam is fully safe in all respect”, he said adding that breaking out of earthquakes was natural phenomenon – and making control over the catastrophe by human being was out of question. Addrssing the meeting, Mirpur Division Commissioner Ch. Muhammad Raqeeb strongly directed WAPDA authorities to immediately manage re-survey of Mangla dam in order to remove panic and concern among Mirpur population caused be breaking out of the fresh wave of earthquakes in the area.

“Immediate execution of survey of the Mangla dam reservoir is the need of time to ascertain the true underground changes in the soil of Mirpur and adjoining strip. WAPDA agreed holding of another identical emergent meeting with the local Divisional and district authorities soon in the coming days to give final touches for conducting resurvey of the dam.

The meeting was attended among others by DIG Mirpur range Sardar Muhammad Illayas Khan, DC Raja Tahir Mumtaz, City Administrtor Tahir Mirs, President DBA Mirpur Mirza Qamar uz Zaman Advocate, Director Estate Management MDA Ch. Kaashif Hussain, Collector Mangla Dam Affairs, Ch. Muhammad Ayub, Director Works MDHA Ch. Inam ul Haq, Divisional Chief of State Information Department Javed Mallick, Senior Geologist of WAPDA Raja Waseem Arshad Khan and others.