Poor arrangement for monsoon season


Express July 24, 2010

RAWALPINDI: The civic authorities claimed to have made all necessary arrangements needed to deal with the heavy rain that was expected in the monsoon. But the first few showers of monsoon proved otherwise. The low lying areas of Rawalpindi suffered from flooding, while the sewage system in the city was unable to deal with the excessive water.

Commissioner Rawalpindi Zahid Saeed ensured that the sewerage nullahs and drains had been cleaned and that water would flow smoothly without causing any floods on roads or in houses.

Work on Nullah Leh was also sped up so that there would be no flooding during monsoon. Similarly, District Officer (DO) Municipal Services Dr Mazhar Azeem said in a statement that the desilting process of all small nullahs in the city would be complete before the monsoon while emergency response teams would be made in case of any flooding in the low lying areas.

However, people living in these areas claim that no such arrangements were made. “A number of small nullahs pass through low lying areas but the municipal department failed to desilt them properly. All of them were choked and it resulted in the accumulation of rainwater in streets and houses,” said Waheed Ahmad, a resident of Dhoke Hussu adjacent to Nullah Leh.

Abdurauf, resident of Dhoke Ratta Amral, said authorities should improve the sewerage system of the city. “Our routine activities come to a standstill due to choked gutters in streets. It is impossible for us to leave our homes,” he complained.

When faced with numerous complaints from residents in these areas, Talat Mahmood Gondal, District Flood In-charge, said that three flood relief camps have been set up to deal with such situations. “We are in touch with the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa). They will be clearing rainwater from low lying areas soon,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2010.

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