Basement digging breaches drain

Case lodged against owners of under-construction plaza

Khawar Randhawa July 11, 2024
Deep earth excavation by multi-story plaza owners at Saman Abad caused abrupt breaking of a storm water channel, resulting in severe flooding in the surrounding locality. PHOTO: EXPRESS


The Faisalabad Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) has lodged a first information report (FIR) against the owners of a commercial plaza after a storm water drain was breached during digging, causing inundation of the adjoining area, including shops.

According to WASA Assistant Director Waqar Ahmad, the owners, Mazhar and Ishfaq, had been constructing the plaza on a road in Samanabad for the past one and a half years.

He said construction workers dug up to 80 feet deep for building a basement without adopting precautionary measures and ensuring stability of the strucuture and the ground, which had caused the breach in the storm water channel due to seepage of sewerage water.

The WASA management sent field staff to rectify the situation, who placed sacks filled with sand to stop the water flow from damaging the sewerage infrastructure.

The official said a departmental inquiry regarding the matter had not bene ordered.

He said a 12-foot wide sewer line also passing through the area near the damaged storm water channel.

He said the technical field staff had plugged the breach and restored the drainage facility for residents of the Novelty Bridge and Jawala Nagar localities.

The officials said WASA had calculated the cost of the damage to the drainage infrastructure at Rs1.2 million.

A Faisalabad Metropolitan Corporation official, Farooq Ahmad, said the plaza owners had got no-objection certificates (NOC) from several departments, including WASA, before the approval by his organisation after fulfilling all the required formalities.

The official said owners of private buildings were allowed to dig the earth only up 30 feet deep.

However, WASA Managing Director Amir Aziz said the deputy commissioner of Faisalabad had asked all the departments to stop excavations for basements during the ongoing monsoon season to avoid any untoward incident but the owners of the building had not taken precautionary measures.


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