By Rehan Khan Khushik
Karachi The experts suggested that the Emergency Preparation Plan (EPP) should not limited to Barrages only but should include flood infrastructures of rivers, Barrages, and embankments. They suggested that EPP must have a wider scope than the existing Contingency plan and bundle manual.
World Bank Task Team leader, Francois Onimus has said that the World Bank has a policy for the safety of dams which must be triggered.
He was speaking about the one-day Workshop on the Emergency Prepared Plan (EPP) of Guddu Barrage and the identification of a new location for Sukkur Barrage. The workshop was organized by the Sindh Barrages Improvement Project funded by the World Bank in a local hotel in Sukkur town on Wednesday, January 31, 2024. Mr. Francois Onimus further said that WB improving the reliability, and safety build capacity of the Barrages.
The national, and international experts along with provincial disaster management authority, administrative authorities, Senior officers of the Sindh Irrigation Department, and Irrigation experts including Foreign Consultants, a Panel of Experts, and an IRSA member of Sindh participated in the workshop and gave valuable input for the improvement of EPP.
Mr. Ghulam Mohi U Ddin Mughal, Project Director Project Management Office SBIP, Sindh Barrages Improvement delivered the Project briefing and informed that the main infrastructure works consist of the replacement of gates of Guddu and Sukkur Barrages including head regulators gates with electromechanical works, civil repair works associated with Barrage components and construction of buildings including office/residential buildings and workshops.
About EPP, he said that everybody knows that Dam failure depends on many factors, notably the nature of Dam-breach flood, which is related to the type and height of the dam and volume of impounded water released and proximity and nature of hazards, persons, Properties and infrastructure in the zone of inundation downstream of the Dam. He said that an emergency in the case of Guddu Barrage might comprise several events such as an abrupt structural failure of the Barrage or associated structures. He said that flood flows in the River Indus of sufficient magnitude to cause endangerment of the upstream embankments ( for which there is usually a warning).
Mr. Mansoor Memon Chief Engineer Guddu Barrage said that the danger with Barrages is the danger with 1/4 the population of Sindh. He said that the primary objective of the EPP is to aid the timeline and effectiveness of carrying out appropriate actions during emergency response. He was of the opinion that the Department has a provision of an Annual Contingency plan through which anticipated flood management is being carried out. This EPP must be comprehensive and should have a wider scope to cover the annual Operation and Maintenance Plan, Annual Contingency Plan, and Bund Mannal.
Chief Engineer BMU Barrage Management Unit Sajid Ali Bhutto said that the emergency preparedness plan for the rehabilitation and modernization of Guddu Barrage is a testament to the dedication and collaborative efforts of the Irrigation Department government of Sindh and Mott Macdonald.
Aslam Ansari ex additional secretary Irrigation Department said that the emergency prepared plan followed all infra structures of the Irrigation system from Barrages to embankments. He said that in Sindh province, always emergency remains continued at embankments.
Chief Engineer Kotri Barrage Ghulam Ali Talpur suggested that the emergency plan should be continued in operational manual plans of the Barrages to fight the flood emergencies.
Proposed Locations for New Sukkur Barrage
Project Director SBIP Ghulam Mohi u din said that site location for the new barrage is the most critical aspect for its overall cost as well as Technical advantages and disadvantages associated with the site.
He said that five locations were proposed for the new Sukkur Barrage by the Consultants (Atkinson-ACE-NDC JV) at Feasibility Studies carried out in 2018. The proposed five locations are at an existing location, at Bukkur Gorge upstream of the barrage, between the Gorge and the existing Barrage, upstream of the Gorge, and downstream of the existing Barrage.
Mr. Zareef Khero, former secretary of irrigation Sindh/ Chief Engineer discussed the subject matter in length on the presentation of the PoE and shared history. He informed that locations have already been discussed and modelled and Barrage is the most suitable location reasoning being it has efficient sediment sluicing, controlling water logging and salinity in bordering regions. He further said that the study findings were presented in a high-level technical committee headed by the Late A.N.G Abbasi and other engineers including Idrees Rajput, Khadim Memon, Late Sardar Mughal, and Ali Gohar Shah. Present ongoing barrage rehabilitation was recommended for execution and modification of River Training Works within the barrage for increasing the discharge capacity. It was decided that the model study to be carried out from an international research laboratory for further investigation.
Mr. Sohail Hameed Baloch Chief Engineer Sukkur said that the mighty river Indus is one of the longest rivers in the world during his presentation. Sukkur Barrage was operated in 1932 with a discharge capacity of 1.5 million. He said that it has passed various supper floods and it is a 90-year Barrage hence there is a need for the construction of a new Sukkur Barrage.
Francois Onimus Task Team Leader World Bank said that with funds of WB, the rehabilitation and modernization of Sukkur Barrage continued for more than 40 years life. He said that different five locations were proposed by the consultant to construct of new Sukkur Barrage for supplying water to the irrigation and agricultural networking in Sindh. This Barrage is a plan for the next 30 years.
Khadim Ali Memon POE-Panel of experts of the irrigation department delivered a presentation and proposed that a new Barrage may be constructed at up upstream of the road bridge and downstream of the existing Sukkur Barrage. However, this will be confirmed through pre-feasibility Study and model study results.
Technical Officer SBIP Imran Aziz Tunio said that due to climate change, the peak flood discharges can increase the risk against structure stability of the Guddu and Sukkur barrage and its embankment under the flood discharges scenario of 1.6 million cusecs and above. He urges that the emergency drill must be carried out to test the emergency preparedness plan at Guddu and Sukkur Barrages. This is extremely important as it enhances resilience and expedites response efforts to cope with climatic catastrophes or unforeseen disasters, such as earthquakes.
Mr. Abdul Waheed Nizamani Deputy project director PMO SBIP, Mr. A. Razzaque Memon, Imran Aziz Tunio, Mr. Ayaz Khoso, Abdul Fatah Memon, Ms Farhana Shams and Zahid Hussain Mughal attended the workshop.
Photos. WORKSHOP ON PROPOSED NEW LOCATION OF SUKKUR BARRAGE AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN OF GUDDU BARRAGE