Urban flooding in Islamabad

CDA had reportedly warned of a cloudburst but the meteorological department ignored the warning

July 30, 2021

Islamabad received heavy monsoon rain on Tuesday night inundating several low-lying areas in the city. The Capital Development Authority had reportedly warned of a cloudburst but the meteorological department ignored the warning. The city received 130mm rain bringing about flash floods on early Wednesday morning in some private housing societies in two sectors. A woman and her seven-year-old son drowned after the floodwater accumulated in the basement of their house in one of the private housing societies. Many vehicles were swept away by the torrent of water accumulating on roads.

Authorities have blamed private housing societies, insisting that the flooding was caused due to violation of regulations governing construction. According to an official, the flooding in Sector E-11-2 was caused due to the construction of a road over a stormwater drain. The drain collapsed because of the illegally-built road and the overflowing rainwater entered houses. Action must be taken against the erring housing societies, as their violating the rules has cost two precious lives.

Authorities claim that except for low-lying areas and the two private housing societies, the rainwater was removed from nearly all areas within a few hours. Reports say that civic organisations had been busy cleaning drains and removing encroachments for the past six months. Why the work could not be completed before the monsoon season needs to be investigated. The authorities concerned did do a good job clearing the neighbourhoods of water pretty swiftly and restoring the power supply, but the situation would not have come to this pass if the authorities had prepared for the rainy day beforehand.

Never before has the capital city come under water like this. Isn’t it reminiscent of what had happened in Karachi last year?

Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2021.

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