Karachi: Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, faced a highly precarious situation when the motor boat he was riding to visit Pakistan’s largest freshwater lake in high flood ran out of fuel making him stranded in the troubled waters for several minutes.
The incident happened in Manchar Lake in lower Sindh where flooding for the past many days has endangered a number of towns and villages. The Irrigation Department officials had to breach the lake at a number of spots to protect highly populated areas. The breaching caused mass evacuation of people from the flooded towns and villages in the surroundings.
Shah faced the situation during a visit to the lake near his native village in the town of Sehwan Sharif. He visited the lake to review the situation of eight union councils that were inundated due to a fresh breach in the lake.
He remained stranded in the boat for over 15 minutes after it ran out of fuel. His boat was manually towed by the irrigation labourers to the embankment of the lake where he shifted to another boat brought there for the rest of his journey.
Before the boat ride, the CM flew in the official helicopter from Karachi to have an aerial view of the flooding. He used the boat to reach the flood-hit villages and distributed food ration bags to the victims.
The spokesman for Shah said the water level where the boat ran out of fuel was several feet high.
He said the incident showed that CM had been making emergency visits to the flooded areas without any special arrangements.
Leader of Opposition in Sindh Assembly, Haleem Adil Sheikh, said that if officials of the provincial government couldn’t arrange fuel in sufficient quantity for CM’s official visit then they also utterly lacked the ability to provide relief goods to the calamity-hit people.