Mayor Wasim Akhtar on Tuesday put all the relevant departments of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation , including hospitals, fire brigades and other rescue service providers, on high alert in view...
Mayor Wasim Akhtar on Tuesday put all the relevant departments of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), including hospitals, fire brigades and other rescue service providers, on high alert in view of the next monsoon rain spell forecast to start on Thursday.
Akhtar ordered all the departments concerned and the district municipal corporations to keep machinery and staff on standby as the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has predicted heavy rains from Thursday onwards.
He also directed officers of the engineering and parks departments as well as other officials to be on duty to deal with any untoward situation and help the people.
Addressing a meeting to review rain measures, the mayor said the PMD has again forecast heavy rains, which is why there is a threat of urban flooding, so the people of the city should be saved from further misery during the downpours.
“The draining process should began immediately. De-watering pumps should be shifted to underpasses and choke points ahead of the rain. The Rain Emergency Centre should be functional round the clock.”
He said citizens may approach the district administrations or the Citizens Complaints Emergency Centre at 1399 in case of any emergency, adding that the staff has been ordered to provide prompt response.
Akhtar said the Sindh Building Control Authority should keep a vigilant eye on the buildings that have been declared dangerous, adding that their residents should follow all precautionary measures during the rains.
“There is a dire need to expedite the cleaning of storm water drains because the city can’t afford more urban flooding. We can get fruitful results if all the departments concerned work together.”
He said he has been trying for many years to draw the attention of the federal and Sindh governments towards the urban flooding threat that Karachi’s many areas face due to choked drains.
The mayor once again requested the provincial government to pay attention to this major issue and take measures for cleanliness in Karachi so that the people of the city can enjoy the monsoon season instead of running into troubles.
KE seeks help
The K-Electric (KE) recently wrote to City Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani, highlighting monsoon-caused challenges, including water-logging and fallen trees that compromised utility service provision, a statement issued by the power utility said on Tuesday.
The power utility emphasised that these issues resulted in extended outages in some areas due to electricity infrastructure being damaged or inaccessible and requested administrative support to address these challenges ahead of the rains predicted for August 6 by the Pakistan Meteorological Department to be more intense than before.
In its letter to the commissioner, the KE mentioned that its teams faced an uphill task in restoring power to 222 locations, including Delhi Colony and Punjab Colony, Khadda Market, Badar Commercial, SITE area, University Road, Korangi and Sohrab Goth, due to overflowing and blocked storm water channels, which resulted in rainwater accumulation. The power utility requested coordinated support from the PDMA and the commissioner office for expedited drainage.
It also highlighted the issue of snapped power lines and damaged PMTs on account of trees falling on power lines and urged “professional and urgent support” from the city administration for the pruning of oversized trees to avoid risk to life and property at 229 locations, including West Wharf, Karachi University, Khayaban-e-Shaheen and Ziauddin Chowrangi.
The letter also talked about the pervasive issue of internet and TV cables which encroach on electricity poles and cause electrocution incidents. The power utility complained that the network operators had not started work as committed by them, and urged the commissioner to intervene to ensure public safety. In addition, the safety challenge of illegal street light switches placed on power poles and generator wires draped on electricity infrastructure were also highlighted as encroachments, and the KE assured the commissioner of its intention to continue removing these hazards.
At the same time, the K-Electric requested the commissioner office for a permanent solution to these challenges in coordination with the deputy commissioners, the KMC, the DMCs and the cantonment boards.
“As the city’s sole power supplier, KE prioritises the safety of its customers and the delivery of its service promise above all else. The power utility has taken out several safety messages, including a safety focused marketing campaign, with the objective of educating the city of necessary protocols and preventive measures. With the next spell of rain expected from August 6th onwards, KE looks forward with working together with the city government in mitigating damage to life and property alike.”