ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday rejected the reason presented by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for the accumulation of rainwater in the Presidency on August 8.
He directed CDA Chairperson Imtiaz Inayat Elahi to fix responsibility for the infrastructural lapse.
In response, the CDA Chairperson suspended CDA Aiwan-e-Sadr Directorate Director Abdus Sattar Achakzai. He added that the director will be formally charged after a departmental inquiry.
“After receiving the charge sheet I will decide whether to approach the court or rely on the departmental inquiry committee’s findings,” Achakzai told The Express Tribune.
He said that rainwater also accumulated in the Parliament House, Parliament Lodges, Supreme Court and Secretariat Blocks. “Then why is it that other responsible persons have not being suspended?”
Sources said that the president also reprimanded the CDA Chairperson for failing to visit the President House on August 8 to ascertain the reasons of accumulation of rainwater in the “highest corridors of power”.
Meanwhile, despite numerous protests from residents of low-lying areas that suffered many losses from the intense downpour, the government has not taken action to fix responsibility or to compensate the affected citizens.
CDA was ordered to submit a report explaining the accumulation of rainwater in the Presidency.
The authority reasoned that due to the unexampled intensity of rain, the main water evacuation pipe of Presidency began to overflow, causing rainwater to accumulate in the building and its lawns. The rainwater seeped in through the cracks and holes on the roof of the building, CDA said.
The authority stated that the cloudburst on August 8 was “unprecedented and unusual” and the authority does not have any system to cope with a 176mm or more of downpour.
It maintained that the capacity of the city’s drains is limited and at many points residents of slum areas divert the direction of these drains due to which rainwater cannot be controlled.
Due to violations of drains, heavy losses cannot be ruled out in future too, it said in its reply. It added that the department has no funds for maintenance of Presidency, while a minimum of Rs10 million is required for water-proofing of the roofs of the building.
A CDA official reasoned that the rainwater entered the affected offices because of the flow that the rainwater had gained while pouring down the adjoining Margalla Hills.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2011.