By Zulfiqar Ali
PESHAWAR, July 4: A British-era bridge on the river Kabul near the Mohmand Agency has been damaged by floodwaters, disrupting vehicular traffic between Peshawar and the adjacent tribal areas, officials said on Monday. A pillar in the middle of the bridge collapsed and the authorities immediately closed the bridge for traffic which was diverted towards Charsadda. No loss of life has been reported. Engineers of the provincial Works and Services Department had inspected the century-old bridge near the Michni resthouse last week and declared it unfit for traffic. The flood in the river Kabul has also damaged a portion of the Jehangira-Swabi road.
Meanwhile, the water level in the river Kabul decreased to medium level with 88,000 cusecs outflow at Warsak dam, north of Peshawar.
The river and its tributaries, which have been in high flood for a week, have inundated vast tracts of farmland and hundreds of homes.
An official of the NWFP Flood Warning Centre said that the fall in the water level would reduce pressure on Nowshera and Dera Ismail Khan where army troops and the administration had been put on alert to meet any emergency.
However, he said that the river Kabul at Nowshera was still in high flood and the outflow was registered at 160,000 cusecs while the river Swat also was in high flood at Monda head-works. He said that situation at Nowshera would improve due to decrease in water discharge from Tarbela dam.
According to the centre, the discharge at Chashma barrage was 454,011 cusecs. Officials said Dera Ismail Khan still faced the threat of flood.
M. Saddaqat adds from Haripur: To ease pressure on the river Kabul, the Wapda authorities have decided to increase the daily storage level of Tarbela reservoir by two feet.
The conservation level, also known as crest level, of the reservoir was designed to absorb a maximum of 1550 ft of water and according to the daily water reading report by dam authorities, the level stood at 1517.17 ft on Monday noon.
Sources at the Tarbela dam told Dawn that as the daily release of surplus water ranging from 250,000 cusecs to 295,000 cusecs from Tarbela Lake mounted pressure on the Kabul river and Chashma Barrage, the dam authorities had decided to enhance the daily water storage in the lake by 2 ft. He said that the outflow had also been decreased considerably.
"This is part of precautionary strategy adopted to avoid loss to the low-lying areas of country," said an official source. He disagreed with a perception that enhanced water storage could cause harm to the dam's structure.
The sources said that the inflow was also on the decline owing to solidification of snow and rainy weather in the northern region of Pakistan.
However, the sources confirmed that all the nine gates of auxiliary spillway were operating round-the-clock and a large quantity of water, about 175,000 cusecs, was being released daily, while an additional release of 100,000 plus cusecs was also spilling out of the dam during the electricity generation process.
According to the daily report of water table in the reservoir taken at 12 noon on Monday, the inflow was measured at 298,000 cusecs, the outflow 265200 cusecs, while the level stood at 1517.17.
The reading at 6pm showed the inflow as 306,000 and outflow at 263,100 cusecs and the level at 1516.64 ft.
On Sunday the inflow was recorded at 339,000 cusecs, the outflow 295,000 cusecs and the level 1515.56 ft.
APP adds from Skardu: The level of River Shoeke in Ghangche district is receding due to cloudy weather for the past two days in the areas of Gwari and Kuru.
Deputy Commissioner Changche Fida Hussain said on Monday that drinking water was being provided to the people of Kuru through water tankers while relief camps and medical camps were working round-the-clock in both villages and providing help to the affected people.
The Commander Siachen Brigade, Brig. Nasir Khan Janjua, visited the villages of Gwari and Kuru and inspected the relief operation and assured the affected people that they would be provided every assistance and help by the federal government.
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