Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry for precautionary steps to control floods and loss of billions dollars

Lahore, July 11, 2016 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called for precautionary measures to control the devastating floods which cause loss of billions dollars to the national exchequer every year besides claiming thousands of lives.

In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that recent flood in Chitral killed over 40 people, dozens went missing while hundreds displaced which is an alarming bell. If measures are not taken, floods would continue to harm the national economy.

The LCCI President said that first of all flood warning system should be improved on war footing to inform the people well before the time. He said that advanced flood warning system and preplanning would considerably reduce the impacts of floods.

Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that water reservoirs are one of the best solutions to control the floods but it is a matter of concern that least attention is being given towards this. He said that one hand, no big dam has been constructed from over last four decades while at the other, water storage capacity of existing dams is decreasing with the passage of time. He said that a large amount of flood water could be stored in kalabagh dam but it has been made controversial. He said that Kalabagh dam should be constructed at any cost as it would store the rain water and floods would be avoided. He said that floods have caused a collective loss of around $ 40 billion. He said that if Kalabagh dam was constructed a few years ago, this loss could have been avoided. He urged the government to start work on Kalabagh dam without further delay.

The LCCI President said that government would also have to increase spending on flood defences to get rid of the loss of billions dollars and to save precious human lives. He said that budget for flood defences should be reviews and enhanced immediately.

He said that climate changes and reduction in forestry area are also biggest reasons of rising flood graph in Pakistan. He said that issue of climate changes should be handled carefully as it has already caused huge damage to the economy and could be severe further in near future.

He said that there is a dire need to stop deforestation in Pakistan as trees not only manage environmental issues but also control flood. He said that deforestation in Pakistan has caused a rapid rise in the pollution level and distortion of natural order. He said that trees should be declared environmental commodity and not just as an item for fuel.

Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that a range of temporary defences could also be installed in at-risk areas as developed countries are practicing. He said that these could be removed complete when water recedes. He said that people of at-risk area should be convinced and facilitated to modify their homes and businesses premises to withstand floods.

He said that floods are not common issues therefore government should take measures on war footing to get rid of the loss of billions dollars to the national economy.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
11-Shahrah-e-Aiwan-e-Tijarat,
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-36368854
Website: www.lcci.org.pk