DHA ‘all set’ for monsoon, residents not so sure

Yasir Habib July 10, 2010

LAHORE: Major portions of L, H, P, Q, G and K blocks, Allahho Akbar Chowk and Ghazi Road in the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) are likely to be flooded because there are no roadside drains, a K-Block resident told The Express Tribune.

Roadside drains are considered an integral part of the sewage and drainage systems in housing schemes to flush out the rain water into the main drains and to check water accumulation on roads and streets during heavy showers.

Naeem Ahmed Khan, the Wasa deputy managing director (Engineering), said that a housing society cannot be considered complete without construction of roadside drains.

“Whenever a new scheme is referred to us, we go through the design and check for roadside drains, sewage lines, house connections, water supply lines, main drains and manholes,” he said.

Sheikh Qayyum, the LDA director metropolitan planning, said that whenever a residential scheme is proposed, public or private, the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) and the TEPA examine its plan. Beside other things, he said, the sewage and drainage systems are evaluated. “The design and plan of a scheme cannot be approved if any one of the mandatory requirements is lacking,” he added.

Last year, a number of DHA blocks got flooded with rain water during the monsoon season. The DHA Residents Association has expressed fear that the society will yet again be inundated in rain water in the coming months.

Chaudary Sadiq, the DHA Residents’ Association president, told The Express Tribune that there was no provisioning for roadside drains in DHA’s master plan.

He said that last year a number of streets in K-Block got flooded with rain water. “It even got into some of the houses,” he said. He added that only a proper sewage and drainage system with roadside drains was the permanent solution to the issue.

He said that the DHA had worked out a plan to pump rain water into vacant plots but the plan backfired as these ponds became breeding grounds for mosquitoes. He said that in some cases residents of the adjacent houses complained that the water affected the foundations of their houses.

He added that the plan cannot be implemented this year as houses had been built on most of last year’s vacant plots.

Salman Ahmed, the DHA director (Maintenance), admitted that the design of the drainage and sewage system was faulty as there were no roadside drains in the society. However, he claimed that the shortcoming had been removed. He said that the DHA had set up a network of screening chambers connected to manholes and sewer lines. “We have placed sewer suction machines at all manholes, the rain water can be flushed out through the machines to the disposal stations and then led to the Charar Drain,” he said. He said that the administration has arranged two generators to keep the disposal stations in working conditions round the clock.

He said that the Authority had also arranged for 20 vehicles equipped with dewatering sets. “The vehicles will patrol the residential areas round the clock to deal with emergency situations,” he said.

A monitoring desk has been established at the main security office located in the Z-Block along with complaint centres in Phases 1, 4, 5 and 6, he added.

Tajammul Hussain, the DHA spokesperson, said that the DHA had already launched its Monsoon Action Plan and would complete the de-silting work by July 12 (Monday).

He said that five sewage disposal stations have been set up and put on high alert for the season. One of the main stations, located in Phase 2, will cover Phases 1 to 4. The other, located in Phase 5, will cover Phases 4 to 6.

The smaller stations are located at the Defence Club, Khiaban-i-Iqbal and Syphon Mor. He said that the DHA had also put into operation 20 emergency stations in Phase 2. He said that they have already removed silt from all sewer lines and replaced manhole covers.

He said that the Rohi Drain, which runs from Ferozpur Road to Phase 8, has also been cleared of silt.

He added that only the sewage halls located under the parking lots at commercial areas were left. They would be cleaned by Monday, he claimed.

He said that earlier the G and K Blocks got affected by rain water that rushed in from the Charar village. He hoped that the situation would be better this year after the implementation of the model village project under which sewer lines at Rs10 million have been laid in the village.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2010.

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