Staff Report/ Zeeshan Kamboh
The heavy Monsoon rains in the twin cities on Tuesday, flooding the streets and homes in the low lying areas, have forced the authorities to declare a rain emergency especially in Rawalpindi.
The Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) is struggling to cope with the heavy downpour. The 202mm rain has turned the roads and streets into water pools.
Water level of the Nullah Lai has surged to 14 feet at the Ratta Bridge in the wake of the torrential rains. Parts of the city including Shamsabad, Sadiqabad, Committee Chowk and Javed Colony are reported as inundated while the houses are flooded by the rain water.
Rescue teams of WASA are scrambling to reach the low lying areas to conduct rescue operations. Weather experts are expecting more rains in the cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.
Heavy rainfall leads to sewerage problems
After Tuesday’s night long monsoon spell the water has accumulated at the underpasses and various areas having poor drainage system. The city is also facing sewerage problems due to the improper drainage on the elevated metro track.
Two feet of water has accumulated in the Committee Chowk underpass, causing problems for the motorcyclists and the motorists.
WASA is working to cope with the sewerage problems, said a report by Ministry of Climate Change.
Rain water disturbs routine life of residents
The accumulated rain water has disturbed the lives of the residents of both Islamabad and Rawalpindi. WASA Spokesperson Umar Farooq said that approximately 217mm rain has been recorded since Monday night. Owing to which, the areas of Waris Khan, Kohati Bazaar, Saidpur Road, Satellite Town B-block, Sadiqabad, Committee Chowk underpass and Liaqat Bagh are flooded with rain water.
The stagnant water has become a nuisance for the commuters and local residents. WASA is trying to drain out the accumulated water in order to ease the tension of the general public, he said.
Farooq said that the WASA Managing Director Shaukat Mehmood himself is monitoring the situation and water evacuation operations carried out by the authority’s teams.
Abdul Razzaq, a Waris Khan resident, said that the water which is about 5 feet high in the streets has forced the students and other people to remain stuck within their premises.
Water recedes in Nullah Leh
An increase in the water level of Nullah Leh was noted on Tuesday morning, but it has receded. However, all the operational wings of the local administration are still on high alert.
As Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has forecasted more rains during the following weeks the high alert will continue.
The district government had announced a rain emergency and alerted all the concerned departments to meet with any outcome from the heavy downpour starting from Monday night and continuing throughout Tuesday.
Upon seeing a raise in the water level in Nullah Leh, the Civil Defence Department, WASA, Rescue 1122 and all the other agencies have been deployed at sensitive locations along both the sides of Leh.
According to PMD, the city has received around 206mm rain during the morning rain spell. However the situation remained normal and fully under control, District Emergency Officer (DEO) Abdul Rehman said.
The DEO also informed that 11 people were rescued including eight men, a woman and two children who were trapped in Sawan river at Gorkhpur.
The water level at Gawalmandi Bridge touched 13.5 feet and reached 13 feet at New Katarian.
The WASA Managing Director Shaukat Mehmood said that rainwater has widely inundated the low-lying areas near Murree Road, Imambara road, Bohar bazar, Jamia Masjid Road, Sadiqabad areas, Katarian and Zafarul Haq Road where district administration along with all its operational wings were actively engaged in draining water.
The rainwater gushed into the OPD basement in Holy Family hospital where ultra sound equipment, X-ray machines and the pathology laboratory are situated.
The hospital administration at Holy Family is doing its best to drain out the rainwater, senior medical superintendent Rasat Ali Khan informed.
Rawal spillways opened
The spillways of Rawal Dam have been opened after the water level touched the threshold of 1,752 feet.
Water from the dam’s spillways flows into the Sawan river after passing through the Korang Nullah.
The filling up of Rawal Dam will help address the shortage of water in the twin cities.
Meanwhile, the heavy rainfall in Rawalpindi division has also caused flood in Sawan River.
According to Rescue 1122, tube wells’ staff has climbed over an electric pole to save their lives.
Entire capital fills up with rain water
Meanwhile the torrential rain continuing from the Monday night has filled the suburbs of Islamabad with rain water.
Due to the negligence of Capital Developmental Authority (CDA) and federal administration the streets have turned into drains. The nonstop heavy downpour for almost five hours has caused the rain water to accumulate on the roads. The water level of the Nullah in the Sector G-7/1 has also increased. Moreover, the blockage of the drainage system has led to traffic jams and an increase in road accidents.
According to a survey, due to the mismanagement of the drainage system, the water has entered into the houses of people in Taramari, Alipur, Khanna pull, Banigala and Thanda pani areas.
While the water level in the low lying area like Taramri, has increased up to 3 feet in the streets. The people said that it is not the first time that the water has gathered in the streets after the rain. The people of Khad Rapar also blamed the politicians of false promises for not solving this issue so far. Bani Gala, not having a proper drainage system, is also inundated.
According to the Islamabad Flood Relief Cell officials, two houses have been damaged near Sohan village however, no major loss or incident has been reported yet.