RAWALPINDI: The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic seems to have put general operations of the districts on the backburner with the Punjab government yet to release funds for clearing silt and other sediments from the 11 major storm drains flowing through Rawalpindi, particularly Nullah Leh.
Officials of the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) said that the operation to clear the nullahs is an annual event and is carried out ahead of the monsoon season.
The operation is critical because it prevents rainwater flowing through the drains from flooding low-lying areas of the city.
In this regard, Wasa officials said that they had requested the provincial government to release around Rs40 million on an urgent basis so that they could start de-silting and cleaning all the nullahs of the city.
Wasa Managing Director (MD) Iftikharuddin told The Express Tribune that Lahore has yet to transfer the requisite funds to them. He claimed that he had sent a reminder to the government but it appears as if it has been overlooked because they have neither received any response nor has the government released the necessary funds.
He further asserted that the agency has completed preparations for the operation on its part and that they were waiting for the necessary funds.
If the funds are not released on time, Iftikharuddin warned that it could delay their action and escalate chances of flooding in the city during the monsoon season.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2020.
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