KARACHI: The Sindh government has released Rs476 million for de-silting of 30 nullahs of the metropolis and has ordered immediate cleansing of four major nullahs in view of the heavy downpour in the coming days.
This was disclosed by Chief Minister (CM) Qaim Ali Shah at a ‘rain emergency’ meeting on Wednesday. “There must be a red-alert in the local bodies to pump out rainwater,” he said.
Local government minister Jam Khan Shoro said he along with the city commissioner, administrators of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, district municipal corporations (DMC) and deputy commissioners were ‘on the roads’. He claimed that there are some choking points at Sharae Faisal and University Road where the rainwater could not be drained out smoothly.
Shoro also said that when the rain started yesterday evening, feeders of K-Electric (KE) tripped and the resultant low voltage damaged motors and other electrical installations at the Dhabeji and Pipri pumping stations.
The damage at Pipri station has been fixed but repair work at Dhabeji pumping station is under way, he said further.
The minister also said that de-silting work on Orangi, Gujjar, Chokar and Kalri nullahs is under way. “Work on the remaining 26 nullahs will start after Eid and continue till the next six months to completely clean the drains,” he explained.
Qaim directed the minister to work out a detailed plan to remove encroachments on and along the nullahs.
Quoting reports, the CM said water had accumulated on roads across the city. “The DMCs have been given enough funds to get generators to pump out rainwater,” he said, adding that every DMC was given Rs10 million for cleansing nullahs in their area.” He directed the local government minister to personally inspect their work.
The CM also took a notice of the prolonged power failure in the city. “KE had informed me that they have upgraded their transmission and distribution system. If it was upgraded then how did this prolonged power failure occur during the city’s first rains of the season,” he questioned, and directed the energy secretary to contact the power utility and urge them to keep their system maintained.
The meeting was also attended by senior officials of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, Sindh chief secretary and other local administration officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2016.