The city district government, Tuesday, launched an operation against people settled along the banks of Nullah Leh to avoid serious threat of floods during monsoon season. The city district government has already declared 13 low-lying areas as highly sensitive during the rainy season, which is likely to begin from July 5.
District Coordination Officer (Rawalpindi) Saqib Zafar has directed Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) and Water and Sewerage Agency (Wasa) authorities to even use force and shift people from these areas at any cost.
District Officer, Civil Defence, Tayamam Raza, told ‘The News’ on Tuesday, “We have declared Dhoke Najoo, Khayaban-e-Sir Syed, Zia-ul-Haq Colony, Ratta Amral, Bhoosa Godown, Dhoke Chiraghdin, Chamanzar Colony, Dhoke Elahi Bukhsh, Gawalmandi, Raheemabad, Nadeemabad, Javed Colony and Arya Mohallah as highly sensitive areas.”
He said that these areas are just situated along the banks of Nullah Leh and could be affected during monsoon season. “We have informed the people residing in these areas to shift to safe localities to avoid losses during monsoon season,” he added.
He also pointed out some other low-lying localities including Dhoke Dallal, Pirwadhai, Dhoke Ratta, Ganjmandi, Gulistan Colony, Usman Pura and Allama Iqbal Colony. These localities could also face danger during monsoon season, he warned.
“Three other localities of the city including Jamia Masjid Road, Kohati Bazaar and Dhoke Khabba could also be affected due to small tributaries of Nulla Leh,” he warned. He said that around 90 per cent of rainwater of Islamabad flows into Rawalpindi and causes severe problems for its residents.
Rescue 1122 District Emergency Officer (DEO) Dr. Abdul Rehman said: “We have established a flood control room at the TMA office from where we will monitor the whole city. We will blow sirens, if water level touches 14 feet mark in Nullah Leh at any point, he said. He said that they have established 6 rain gauges at different spots including Flood Commission Office, Islamabad, Pakistan Meteorological Department, Islamabad, Airport Road, Barani University, Golra and at Bokra. “We have also established 2 water flood gauges at New Katarian and Gawalmandi. We could monitor water level at Nullah Leh and flood situation in the city with the help of these gauges,” he claimed.
He also said that they have established 10 warning posts around ‘Nullah Leh’. He said that they have established 10 Flood Relief Camps where affected people could stay during the monsoon season. “We have established flood relief camps at Viqar-un-Nisa College for Women, Tipu Road, Federal Government Boys School, Mareer Hassan, Government MC Boys School, Babu Lal Hussain Road, Government Islamia High School No-4, Liaquat Road, FG Girls High School, Daryabad; Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Bagh Sardaran; Asghar Mall College; Government Girls High School, Safdarabad; and Government College for Women, Khayaban-e-Sir Syed.
Talking to ‘The News,’ people residing in low-lying localities said that they had remained busy in flushing out rainwater from their houses during monsoon last year as well. “Last year during rain, rainwater gushed into our houses and damaged our routine life” what would happen now when monsoon season begin from July 5,” they feared.
Muhammad Rehman, a resident of Nadeem Colony said that every year concerned authority forcibly shifts them from their own houses. Why, government is not resolving the matter on permanent basis, he asked.
According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, Rawalpindi and Islamabad would receive heavy showers on July 5, 2012. All low-lying areas could face difficulties in this regard, concerned department warned. Chief Meteorologist Dr Muhammad Hanif told ‘The News’ that majority parts in the country including Rawalpindi and Islamabad would receive heavy showers from July 5, 2012. “This year, monsoon spell would be longer as compared to last year and more rainfall is expected,” he added. According to him, heavy showers would continue for three to four days in upper Punjab, including Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Hazara divisions and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that rain is likely to fall at night or in the wee hours every day and there are chances of flooding in low-lying areas. “If it rains continuously for three hours, we will receive 180 mm rain and 35 mm rain in one hour. Long duration of monsoon rains could be extremely dangerous,” he warned.