Tuesday’s downpour resulted in more than two feet water accumulating at some parts around the Kalma Chowk causing a traffic jam for more than an hour.
Roads leading to and from the Gaddafi Stadium were flooded with rain water. For about an hour, no Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) worker was draining out water from this area. Many Model Town-bound vehicles broke down in the service lanes along the flyover.
Dr Javaid Iqbal, the Wasa managing director, told The Express Tribune that the Communication and Works (C&W) Department has yet to start work on a drain to remove water from Kalma Chowk and adjacent areas that will discharge into Sattukatla drain. The drain was a part of the Kalma Chowk flyover construction project.
Dr Iqbal said that a lack of drain at Kalma Chowk was not Wasa’s fault. “No one can blame Wasa for the situation.” He said that the flyover project had been executed by the C&W Department and it was their responsibility to construct a drain.
“I am not aware when they will start working on the drain,” he added. Iqbal also said that Gaddafi stadium did not fall under Wasa’s domain.
Sabir Khan, the Kalma Chowk Flyover project director, said that construction of the drain would start after the monsoon. “It is tough to dig the area during rainy season,” he said.
He said it was too early to give a date for the commencement of construction considering an estimate of the cost had yet to be made.
Commuters stuck in the rain water around Kalma Chowk Flyover accused the government of ‘ill planning’.
Hasnat Ali, waiting for a mechanic to fix his car, said that the faults in the flyover were bound to be exposed with time. He said that the construction of a drain should have been the government’s first priority. Service lanes along other flyovers built by this government also lack a proper sewer system, he added. Besides Gulberg, various areas of Cant, Walton, Model Town, Faisal Town, Township and Green Town were flooded.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th, 2011.