Monsoon arrangements claims exposed

RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD  – Torrential rain on Monday exposed tall claims made by the departments concerned of Tehsil Municipal Authority (TMA), Water and Sanitation Authority (WASA) and district government about Sanitation and Cleanliness.

Earlier, it was claimed by the authorities concerned that all nullahs and drains of the city have been cleared of silt and solid waste and now, there is no danger of flood during this monsoon. But, heavy rain on Monday exposed the tall claims of arrangements as several main areas of the city were submerged in rainwater.

All the arrangements were exposed when rainwater choked the entire drainage system mainly of low lying areas and turned several roads including roads of Muslim town, Kuri Road, Chara road and other areas into ponds of water.

Heavy downpour on Monday brought great problems for the citizens in different localities of Rawalpindi like Tench Bhatta, People’s Colony, Ghausia Intersection, Jan Colony, Sher zaman Colony, Misriyaal Road, PIA Colony, Habib Colony, Gwalmandi, Daryaabad, Mareer intersection, Mareer bridge, Dhowk Chiragh Deen, Afshan Colony, Nadeem Colony, Javed Colony, Chamanzar Colony, Arya Mohallah, Sadiqabad, Rahimabad, Ratta Amral, Dhoke Najju, Jamia Masjid Road, Bohar Bazaar, Banni Chowk, Rehmatabad, Akhtarabad, Amarpura, Dhoke Elahi Bakhsh, Kohati Bazaar and Zia-Ul-Haq Colony.

The residents faced great difficulties because rainwater inundated streets and gushed into their houses due to poor cleanliness arrangements made by the authorities concerned of Cantonment Board Rawalpindi, Chaklala, TMA, WASA and district government. The residents complained that after rains, water remains inundated on the roads and streets and creates inconvenience for them.

Rainwater made life miserable particularly for residents of low-lying areas, whereas power outages were also reported in the different parts of the city soon after the rain started. Several main roads and residential colonies turned into small streams and lakes.

Meanwhile, after the federal capital received heavy rain on Monday, Chairman Capital Development Authority Farkhand Iqbal Monday ordered dewatering of all low-lying areas, removal of all structures impeding water flow and construction of retaining walls along nullahs as required.

Amidst flooding roads and streets of Islamabad, the Chairman along with his team visited various localities including various slums, Blue Area, 9th Avenue, IJP Road and others which are more vulnerable to face any untoward incident.

The CDA had already announced the establishment of a Flood Relief Cell comprising the Directorates of Maintenance, Environment, Enforcement, Municipal Administration, Planning, E&M Maintenance, Machinery Pool Organization (MPO), Sanitation and Capital Hospital.

After a survey, the CDA had already identified 35 vulnerable points including sectors G-7/1, G-7/2, G-7/3, G-8/1, F-7/4 and F-6 facing threat in case of heavy rain. During his visit, the Chairman ordered the removal of all impediments from the nullahs to ensure smooth flow of rainwater and avert inundation of nearby areas.

The staffers of the Flood Relief Cell reached the affected areas including slum of sector G-7 and other inundated areas to flush out water using dewatering pumps. During the visit, the CDA chief said the Cell functions round the clock, and is equipped with latest relief devices including large and small size dewatering pumps, vehicles including pickups, shovels, front end loaders and dumpers.

He said the notices had already been issued to the slum dwellers who had built houses closed to the nullahs flowing through different areas to demolish these illegal structures and houses at their own.

He said the slums had also been warned through public notice to demolish slums falling in the nullahs failing which the CDA would demolish all these structures and the dwellers would be responsible for any sort of risk involved.

He also asked the residents to remove all illegal sewerage/drainage connections in streets or nullahs immediately as those involve risk of back-flow during the monsoon season so it was essential to connect the sewerage and drainage lines of the houses and buildings with CDA mains.

Farkhand Iqbal said the cleansing of nullahs for the smooth flow of rainwater was in progress to avoid any untoward incident. The Chairman directed the Flood Relief Cell to keep a constant liaison with National Disaster Management Authority and get all necessary help from them if needed.

He said a mechanism to monitor flood level at Simly Dam on daily basis is already in place and the information will be shared with the District Administration and media.

He also directed the Capital Hospital and all the dispensaries of CDA to remain alert to meet any emergency and for the provision of first-aid.

The Chairman CDA also appealed residents of the federal capital to coordinate with the Flood Relief Cell by contacting on Phone Nos:  051- 9253237, 051-9253236, 051-9252834 and 051-9252833. Sanitation Control Room Helpline No: 1334. Environment Control Room Helpline No. 2855513.

Source: http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/18-Sep-2012/monsoon-arrangements-claims-exposed