Heavy rain, which began in the wee hours of Saturday created problems for the residents of low-lying localities of Rawalpindi as all streets and roads were inundated with rainwater due to poor drainage and sanitation system.
Rainwater inundated low-lying areas particularly Nadeem Colony, Raheemabad and Arya Mohallah, Javed Colony, Jehangir Road, Muslim Town and Sadiqabad as well as Dhoke Ratta, Ratta Amral, Afandi Colony, Dhoke Najju Jamia Masjid Road, Bohar Bazaar, Banni Chowk, Rehmatabad, Akhtarabad, Amarpura, Dhoke Elahi Bakhsh, Kohati Bazaar, Zia-ul-Haq Colony and Dhoke Hasu forcing their dwellers to clear water out of their homes amid fear of floods. The rain started at 5 a.m. and continued till 12 in the noon.
According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, Rawalpindi, received 48-millimetre rain whereas Islamabad received 47-millimetre rain. More rain is expected in twin cities during the next 48 hours.
City district administration, civil defence department and Rescue 1122 remained on high alert to deal with emergency situation.
The continuous spells of rain exposed the city district government’s claims of clearing the hurdles in nullahs and drains for the smooth flow of water. The sewerage system in downtown and the area adjacent to Nullah Leh were choked and the water accumulated at various places due to blockage of small drains passing through these low-lying localities.
Talking to ‘The News’, District Officer (DO) Civil Defence Tayammam Raza said that down town localities were mostly affected due to heavy rain. “Most of small nullahs pass through these low-lying localities, but unfortunately the municipal department failed to desilt them properly. All of them were choked and it inundated streets and houses during rain,” he added.
District Flood In-charge Saif Anwar Jappa said: “We have set up 10 flood relief camps in the city to monitor and deal with any untoward situation. We are in touch with the Water and Sewerage Agency (Wasa) for clearing rainwater from low-lying areas.”
Talking to ‘The News’, Ahmed Mukhtar, a resident of Nadeem Colony, said that the concerned authorities should improve the sewerage system of the city. “Our routine activities come to a standstill because of choked gutters in streets,” he added.
Bushra Kiani, a resident of Zia-ul-Haq Colony, said that the rain created difficulties for them, as rainwater entered into their house because of choked sewerage lines and resultant backflow of small nullahs. “Rainwater destroyed several valuables in my house. We are still busy in removing rainwater from our house,” she complained.
Moti Bazaar shopkeepers said that rainwater gushed into their shops and damaged their goods. “Every year, we face great difficulties in monsoon,” they said.
Abdus Samad of Nadeem Colony while taking shelter in upper storey of his house said that huge funds are allocated to the civic body by the concerned government in Punjab for work on small channels of Nullah Leh. However, the authorities do not spend even a single penny for cleaning the garbage, which blocks water flow in Nullah Leh.
According to Wasa spokesman, Deputy Director Umar Farooq, the rainwater in Nullah Leh remained at low level due to desilting and dredging work carried out by Wasa through its own resources that the Nullah Leh did not play any havoc of floods.
He advised the people to contact on 5554071 to approach Wasa to get water suction pumps in case water enters their houses and remain accumulated for hours. Wasa staff would reach the affected places and remove water through water suction machines, Umar Farooq assured.
Similarly, according to Umar Farooq, the level of water in Rawal Dam also increased by more than four feet. Before Saturday rains, the level of water in Rawal Dam was recorded 1031 feet and after the heavy down pour, the level rose to 1035 feet in the dam.
The total capacity of Rawal Dam is 1052 feet. More rains would further improve the level of water in Rawal Dam, he said. Moreover, the underground water level also showed improvement in most parts of the city, he claimed.
In Cantonment, areas like Girja Colony, Dhoke Chiraghdin and People’s Colony were affected by heavy rains. In these localities, due to choked and poor drainage system, rainwater accumulated on street and roads by more than three feet level, which also gushed into small houses, affecting their dwellers.