The rising water level continued to exert pressure on the lake embankment from Zero Point to Bubak on Tuesday. The water level in the lake reached 120.5RL (reduced level) till filing of this report on Tuesday night, just five inches below the top level. This was the same point close to Zero point where a breach had occurred in 1994.
Although the water level has crossed the original highest point of embankment, irrigation officials and area people, supervised by Sindh Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, continued to dump stones and bags of mud and raised the embankment 1.5 feet more from Zero Point of Main Nara Valley Drain.
When water started overflowing, irrigation officials stopped heavy machinery because of weakening of a portion of the embankment and continued consolidating embankment by dumping stones and mud through tractors and pickups.
Meanwhile, helicopters of UN and Pakistan Army continued rescue operation and supplied food in Bajara, Jhangara, Shah Hassan and Chhinni and 70 other villages.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah presided over a meeting on Tuesday night to discuss the alarming situation at Manchhar lake and ways to divert to the Indus the floodwater coming from Tori bund breach and now accumulating in the lake and MNV drain.
The meeting was attended by lawmakers from Dadu and Jamshoro districts, members of a committee set up by the CM and officials of departments concerned to suggest ways to release floodwater into the Indus river.
After the meeting, Provincial Food Minister Nadir Magsi told reporters that condition of embankments at Manchhar lake was critical and it had been decided to make a way for water by making a cut in MNV drain and Manchhar lake.
He said the committee had authorised the Sindh chief minister to take a decision.
Sources privy to the meeting said the meeting had agreed to a proposal to breach the MNV drain at Zero point, adjacent to Manchhar. The water would be released into the Indus river through a 15-km area between Bhan Syedabad and Sehwan towns. However, Murad Ali Shah opposed this proposal. After the meeting, a final warning was issued to residents of Bhan Syedabad to vacate the town.
Irrigation officials continued widening the cut made at Aral head canal to release more water into the Indus.
In a related development, the Taluka administration of Sehwan failed to supply drinking water to over 100,000 people of the town after the suspension of water supply from the Indus river as polluted water of Manchhar was released into it.
After a protest by residents, the taluka administration started supplying water from the Indus river temporarily.
The district administrations of Jamshoro and Dadu have still not rescued over 50,000 people of Jhangara, Bajara, Chhinni, Shah Hassan and 70 villages who are facing shortage of food.
Wahid Bux Nohani of Jhnagra road said that stranded people were facing shortage of food and water.