RAWALPINDI: With the forthcoming monsoon season, the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) has been tasked to clean eleven storm drains in the city. Earlier, Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) and Solid Waste Management Company had the responsibility to clear up the storm drains.
However, the authorities did not ask to clear illegal encroachments established on the drains, while RMC is considered responsible to allow establishment of encroachments over the drains.
The decision was taken by the Punjab Minister of Local Bodies Punjab, Raja Muhammad Basharat in a meeting held the other day. The meeting was attended by the Rawalpindi Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rawalpindi, Muhammad Ali Randhawa, district administration of WASA, RMC and officials from cantonment boards. Further, the provincial minister has instructed the DC Rawalpindi to personally monitor the flood control operation in order to maintain high standard of departmental services for relief of public.
As many as 11 major drains, falling under the jurisdiction of the Rawalpindi municipal authority, pass through several densely populated areas of the city before draining into the Nullah Leh.
At many places, the presence of debris and solid waste including plastic bags, food waste, and construction material has narrowed the width of the drains. At others, encroachment and construction have narrowed their width.
During normal days, choked drains do not pose a threat to the localities they pass through.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2019.