Saturday April 20, 2024

City braces for heavy rains till Saturday

A strong westerly wave is likely to approach western parts of country today and may grip most parts of country by tomorrow

By Our Correspondent
February 29, 2024
Image showing a traffic warden giving directions to cars amid rain on the streets of Karachi. — Screengrab/Geo News/ file
Image showing a traffic warden giving directions to cars amid rain on the streets of Karachi. — Screengrab/Geo News/ file   

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and other civic agencies have announced emergency measures due to the forecast of heavy rain today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday).

According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), many cities in Sindh, including Karachi, are expected to receive torrential rainfall from Thursday. Some parts of the country are also to be hit by heavy snowfall with windstorms from today till March 2.

In its weather advisory, the Met Office said the heavy rain and snowfall may generate flash floods and disrupt daily life in vulnerable areas. A strong westerly wave is likely to approach western parts of the country today and may grip most parts of the country by tomorrow, the PMD said, adding that the wave may persist for two days.

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has cancelled the leaves of all relevant officers and staff in view of the forecast of heavy rain in the city.

Karachi Deputy Mayor Salman Abdullah Murad said all the officials had been directed to remain alert and the KMC’s Municipal Services Department had established an emergency desk to deal with the rain.

Presiding over a high-level meeting, Murad directed the relevant officers of the KMC to come up with a joint action plan with the town municipal corporations (TMCs) and Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation (KWSC) for drainage work during the expected rainfall.

All the machinery and pumps used for drainage should be kept in proper condition, the deputy mayor said, adding that in case of rain, drainage work on roads should be started immediately to ensure convenience for the commuters.

He added that special attention should be paid to the roads, highways and low-lying areas during rains. The departments of engineering, municipal services and parks, and other related departments should ensure cooperation during the rain, he said.

Murad said that providing convenience to the citizens was the primary responsibility of local bodies. Every possible effort was being made to solve the municipal problems of the city, he added. Meanwhile, the KWSC also issued orders to its officers to be on high alert in view of the forecast of possible rain on March 1.

According to a spokesperson for the KWSC, the corporation’s chief operating officer, Engineer Asadullah Khan, had issued strict orders to all the officers, including the chief engineer of sewerage, to remain alert.

He said all the superintending engineers in their respective districts and all the executive engineers along with their subordinate staff should remain in their respective divisions.

He said that before the rains, machinery should be brought to all the main highways of the city so that the citizens did not face any problems.

He said that the drains should be cleaned before the possible rains and all the machinery should be kept ready. He added that all the pumping stations should be kept running with the help of generators in case of power cuts.

He said the sewerage system of the city was not designed for the discharge of rainwater. He added that unfortunately, solid waste, debris and garbage from the roads was washed away with the rainwater during the rains and choked sewer lines.

Khan said the KWSC had started to take measures to cover manholes on main roads, streets and footpaths on a priority basis to prevent any accidents. He advised the citizens to take precautionary measures and not to open manhole covers for drainage of rainwater.