Several happy notes and fantasies are attached with the monsoon, where fresh water pouring in abundance bathes everything to purity and freshness. The rising mercury in almost all cities of Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and some parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has left people crave for rain. For an agriculture based economy like Pakistan, timely rain in good proportions means wealth and abundance of food so no denying the fact that monsoon is a blessing for this region and the only means of irrigation for many parts of the country but mismanagement during the rainy season can ruin it for many.
Unfortunately, Pakistan has been experiencing flash floods from the last couple of years. The sad part of the story is that we have been unable to fix the damage caused from the flood of previous years and the experts are predicting that as compared to the average rain recorded during the last 30 years, Pakistan is expected to receive 15% more rains. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) too is dreading severer flood in the Southern Punjab and lower Sindh areas. NDMA has directed the provincial governments and concerned authorities to make the disaster management plan to deal with yet another big flood.
The catastrophes that occur in smaller towns and villages do not make it big on media. We are programmed to ignore things until they become everyone’s concern and this is where news media has helped us. We have become better observers of our society. Despite the role of media in offering better promotional opportunities to the politicians and ruling government, people are reaping the benefits of this widening network of news and information. Therefore, the authorities in bigger cities have directed the concerned staff to device better sewerage plan for monsoon as well as make arrangements for emergency relief to avoid the public wrath triggered because of the news reports and live media coverage.
Although, none of the development authorities of bigger cities such as Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore have issued the details of the proposed or final monsoon plan but the process of identifying the areas and structures that could cause trouble during monsoon have been identified. Since the monsoon season would start during the month of Ramadan, the stress on coming up with a detailed and effective monsoon plan is apparent. Only time will tell if our government machinery will be able to deal with the crises that has already been predicted and is not that far away.