Pindi at risk from devastating floods

Delay in cleaning of rain drains endangers lives of people living in low-lying areas

Our Correspondent April 07, 2023
A man swims in flood waters while heading for a higher ground, following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Charsadda, Pakistan. Photo: REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz


The garrison city is at risk of experiencing devastating floods due to heavy monsoon rains this year and a lack of funds for the silt cleaning of 10 major rain drains, including Nullah Leh.

Prior to the monsoon season, the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) sought immediate funding of Rs40 million from the government for the cleaning of 10 significant rain drains across the garrison city.

Meanwhile, the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) has also requested an additional Rs20 million from the government, claiming that the funds of Rs30 million provided earlier were inadequate given that the price of diesel has become double per litre in a year.

Sources claim that the WASA administration has adopted the stance that diesel, which was Rs150 per litre in April of last year, is now Rs300 per litre. “This amount is inadequate for the cleaning exercise because both small and large machinery shovels operate on diesel,” the WASA administration has argued.

It said with this amount only 50 per cent of the Nullah Leh could be cleaned, doubling the danger of flooding.

Due to the severe financial crisis, the government has not yet released the funds to the RMC for the proper cleaning of 10 large rain drains flowing across the city, while the first decade of April is about to end, the sources said. The cleaning must begin in May but the government is still going slow on the fund issue, they added.

“The pre-monsoon season is going to start after 1.5 months, and at least 2.5 months are required for cleaning the drains.”

WASA sources say that the price of diesel has increased significantly following which the private sector has also increased its rates.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th, 2023.


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