WASA on high alert to cope with flooding, declares emergency

February 20, 2024

Rawalpindi:Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) Rawalpindi was put on high alert to cope with urban flooding following heavy rain on Sunday night while a rain emergency was also declared directing the residents settled along Nullah Leh and in low-lying areas to remain on high alert and move to safer places, said Managing Director (MD), WASA Muhammad Saleem Ashraf.

Rescue workers help to evacuate flood-affected people in Punjab. — AFP/File

He informed that twin cities, Rawalpindi and Islamabad received heavy rain on Sunday night and all the arrangements were finalised by the agency to deal with flash flood. He said that according to rainfall gauging stations, 27 mm rain was recorded at Saidpur Village, 23 mm at Golra, 17 mm at Bokra, 32 mm at Shamsaabad, 26 mm at Chaklala, while water level sensor data showed 7 feet at Kattarian and 3.4 feet at Gawalmandi.

Water and Sanitation Agency personnel were deployed in different city areas along with heavy machinery, the MD said adding, Water and Sanitation Agency staff was present particularly at low-lying areas including Raja Bazar, Bohar Bazar, Jamia Masjid Road, Murree Road, Nadeem Colony, Javed Colony, Sadiqabad, Satellite Town and other areas.

Water level in Nallah Lai was being monitored regularly, he said. The MD informed that the operation to remove stagnant rain water was in progress in different areas.Meanwhile, Rawalpindi Waste Management Company (RWMC) had deputed additional sanitary workers to clean and dredge major drains to avoid urban flooding.

According to the Rawalpindi Waste Management Company spokesman, the RWMC carried out the cleanliness of nullahs and choked drains during continued rainfall from the last two days to ensure sanitation in several city areas. He said that additional staff had been assigned duties in three shifts to ensure cleanliness round the clock so that some sanitation-related problems could not become hurdles in the smooth flow of water. He informed that RWMC workers removed hundreds of tons of waste in the Rawalpindi city areas while drains blocked during the rain had been opened immediately to have no problem with drainage in the city.

He said that complaints received on social media platforms were also being addressed promptly. Meanwhile, the Rawalpindi Waste Management Company was making all-out efforts to keep the hill station clear for tourists during snowfall. He said that heavy machinery and excavators were being used to remove snow and rubbish from the roads, adding salt was also being sprinkled on the roads to ensure a smooth traffic flow.

In case of any complaint, citizens were asked to register their complaints on helpline number 1139, which would be rectified immediately, he added. Rawalpindi Waste Management Company has appealed to the citizens not to throw garbage and plastic bags in nullahs and drains, which cause obstruction, adding that RWMC would utilize all resources to keep the city environment friendly.