Lack of oversight, poor handling resulted in Shispher Glacier tragedy: Senators

Zubair Qureshi

Lack of oversight by the relevant departments, absence of Automated Weather System (AWS) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and poor handling of the crisis resulted in the Shispher Glacier Hassanabad tragedy.

This was revealed during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change held on Thursday at the Parliament Lodges. Senator Seemi Ezdi chaired the meeting which was attended by Senator Khalida Ateeb, Senator Keshoo Bai, Senator Taj Haider and senior officers of the Ministry of Climate Change along with its attached departments and agencies.

Minister of State for Climate Change, Senator Sherry Rehman was present at the meeting as well. It was told in the meeting that non-functional AWS in other valleys from Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF- I) are resulting in disasters at more locations. This, it was asserted, left no margin for timely interventions.

In addition to this, procurement and bidding delays for project activities were termed as major hurdles due to which construction window was lost. Missing infrastructural review was another major cause that contributed to major mishaps in the valleys.

Issues including ensuing climate change threats and preparedness to tackle the latest spate of heat waves in the country were also taken up in the meeting.

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