KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that his government is planning to construct a small dam or a storm water drain starting from the upper side of Northern Bypass to give way to the rain water flowing from the Kirthar Mountain range. A similar storm drain is also required in Hyderabad to save the city from flash floods, he added.
He disclosed these plans during a meeting with the new British Deputy High Commissioner Mike Nithavrianakis at the Chief Minister House on Thursday.
The chief minister and the visiting envoy discussed bilateral relations, trade and commerce, energy and also exchanged views on the recent downpour in Karachi and Hyderabad. The CM said that the natural waterways in both the cities have been encroached upon, which is why the rain water could not pass through through storm water drains.
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He said that there is a natural drain called Lat Nai on the upper side of the Northern Bypass. Another natural drain known as Mokhi Dhoro starts at Al-Asif Square and terminates through Lyari River. Yet another drain originates from the lower side of Super Highway, covering Dumba Goth and Malir Cantt and terminating somewhere at Nathan Khan.
Shah said that the Northern Bypass, New Sabzi Mandi, various societies and townships have emerged on the natural storm water drains, leaving no passage for the water to flow toward the sea. "This is why all these localities are flooded when heavy rains are received in the city and its adjoining areas," he said, adding that the same was the case with Saadi Town.
"After unblocking natural drains, we have started de-watering the city with diesel pumps and other equipment," he said, adding that his government was planning to build two storm water drains starting from the mountain range. One would cover the upper side of the motorway, from the Northern Bypass area, New Sabzi mandi, Al-Asif Sqaure and would terminate in the Lyari River. The other drain would cover the lower side of the motorway, Dumba Goth, Safoora Goth, Malir Cantt and all the nearby areas and would terminate at the Nathan Khan storm water drain.
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"I will commission a study and consult the relevant experts to explore the alignment of the proposed drain with natural gravity so that rain water from the upper and lower sides of the motorway could be disposed of smoothly," he said, adding that a small dam may also be constructed in the lap of the mountain range, somewhere at Gadap village area or Mahar mountain.
CM Shah also said that he had visited Hyderabad and found that all the natural waterways have been encroached upon. "I am planning to construct a new drain which can cater to the needs of the entire city," he said, adding that a study would be conducted shortly, otherwise in near future these both cities, Karachi and Hyderabad would be under threat of flash floods.
During the meeting, the chief minister told the visiting envoy that the Thar Coal power plant has started producing 660MW of electricity on commercial basis. "This commercial production started on July 17, 2019, and now we are working on expanding the coal mine in Block-II and power generation," he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2019.