Weather rollercoaster brings relief, chaos

Dams fill up, pollution abates but many low-lying areas endure flooding

Qaiser Sherazi April 19, 2024
Motorists drive along a flooded street following heavy rains in Dubai. The Middle East's financial centre, has been paralysed by the torrential rain that caused floods across the UAE and Bahrain and left 18 dead in Oman on April 14 and 15. PHOTO: AFP


The weather has become pleasant and cool in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad since last night following the heavy rain.

Many have donned layers due to the light chill that has set in after the rain. Continuous heavy rains have also created problems for the wheat crops which are almost ready for harvest. However, the air pollution index in the twin cities has fallen, leading to an improvement in the atmosphere. Islamabad’s air pollution index has fallen to 37 which is a rather environmentally friendly ranking.

In the city of Rawalpindi, the air pollution index has also fallen to a low level of 45, while it has reached 73 in Murree, 83 in Attock, 88 in Jhelum and 89 in Chakwal.

Due to continuous rain, the water levels in the three dams Rawal, Khanpur and Simly Dam, which supply water to the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad have also increased.

The catchment areas of all three dams have been filled with water, which is expected to have completely averted the summer water scarcity crisis this year. Additionally, more than normal monsoon rains are forecast this year, which will further help address the water shortage.

While the rain proved to be a blessing for some, it turned into a bane for others. The low-lying areas suffered from flooding as water levels up to one foot accumulated in Nadeem Colony, Javed Colony, Arya Mohalla, Dhok Khaba, Millat Colony, Dhok Elhi Bakhsh, Mohalla Fazalabad, Chah Sultan, Dhok Najo, Zia-ul-Haq Colony, Gwalmandi, Adara and the streets of Peoples Colony.

Similarly, rainwater also collected on the sides of the main highways of Rawalpindi, Murree Road, Murir Chowk, Mall Road, Rahimabad Chowk, Kachhari Chowk, Iqbal Road, Gwalmandi, Ganjmundi and Sadiqabad Chowk.

The three underpasses of the city, Committee Chowk, Rahimabad and Chauhar Chowk were flooded as well. The Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) staff was busy removing water from the underpasses throughout the day.

The incessant rains also filled the drains and caused low-level flooding in all the ten major rain drains of the city including Nullah Leh.

Wasa spokesperson, Umar Farooq, while speaking to The Express Tribune, said machinery and staff have been permanently deployed in all the low-lying areas, which have been occupied with draining water in shift duties throughout the day.

Due to the absence of traffic wardens in the heavy rain, the traffic system on Murree Road, Liaquat Bagh Chowk, Murir Chowk, Fawara Chowk, Raja Bazaar Bani Chowk, Jamia Masjid Road, Iqbal Road, China Market Liaquat Road, City Sadar Road and Kachahri Chowk was jammed intermittently throughout the day. Business activities in all commercial centres were also badly affected by the rain.


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