PESHAWAR: Winter gave a parting shot as rain and snowfall swept across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Monday.
While snow enveloped the mountains from Galyat in Abbottabad to Parachinar and Chitral, rains flooded urban centres including Peshawar and Mardan.
The city of Peshawar was converted into a pond when the light showers that started in early Monday morning turned into heavy rain.
Similarly, the round of heavy rains and snowfall in mountainous areas in different parts of K-P is underway while the low-lying areas have swamped.
The sewerage lines have spouted after heavy rains which have exposed the government claims. Due to the BRT project, different parts of the GT road and main arteries of University road have submerged in the water whereas the underpasses have developed into swimming pools.
Further, the pedestrians faced immense difficulties in movements due to the deposition of mixed rain and sewerage water on the streets while several vehicles were also stuck in it.
Further, the spell of cold weather has returned in Swabi and its adjoining areas after heavy downpour and snowfall which is in continuation at regular intervals. People were stuck at homes and all trade, business and transport was closed for the time being.
The downpour has destroyed the electricity and communication system in different districts including Lower Dir, Mingora, Swat.
The Metrological office has predicted that the spell would continue with regular intervals in the next twenty-four hours.
Moreover, the administration had directed all private and government schools in district Kurram to be shut down by March 10 after the inclement weather however a few schools did not implement the orders and remained open.
A spell of rain and snowfall has once again begun after a gap of three days in Chitral whereas the Lowari tunnel has not been closed for traffic despite the ongoing snowfall.
Meanwhile, the Galiyat Development Authority spokesperson Ahsan Hameed has issued an alert in which he has warned visitors against traveling due to heavy snowfall
He added that the rescue teams were busy in restoring traffic, and getting the cars moving after about 1.5 feet of snow was deposited on the roads preventing the cars from making any further movements. He informed that the snowfall was expected to stop by tomorrow evening but there was a possibility of a land slide in the area.
Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has directed for sensitisation of all the concerned departments to take all out efforts for mitigating the sufferings of torrential rains affectees in the province particularly in Peshawar and its suburbs . “Highly sensitive and vulnerable areas require extraordinary attention by the concerned departments”, he added.
In his special directives issued here today, the Chief Minister directed the district administration of Peshawar relief and rescue agencies and other districts to take all necessary steps to maintain proper drainage and traffic in the rain affected areas. He also directed the relief department, rescue and other agencies to put their teams on alert directing that foolproof measures should be ensured for the relief and rescue of affectees caused by ongoing torrential rains. He also ordered for timely estimation of losses and said that relief and rehabilitation of rain-hit people should be ensured on emergency basis. He directed all the hospitals and healthcare centers to provide efficient medical care and health facilities to the victims of rains.
The Chief Minister also directed to facilitate and rescue the people as well as tourists in Galyat, Malakand, Swat and other hilly areas. The roads blocked due to heavy snow fall should be cleared and opened on war foot basis in order to ensure smooth flow of vehicular traffic.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 12th, 2019.