Sunday May 19, 2024

Precautionary measures pay off as most roads remain clear after rain

By Our Correspondent
March 02, 2024
Cars can be seen on the road around Karachis National Coaching Centre on March 1, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — X/murtazawahab1
Cars can be seen on the road around Karachi's National Coaching Centre on March 1, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — X/murtazawahab1

Precautionary measures taken by the Sindh government and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation paid off on Friday as rainwater did not accumulate in most arteries of the city following light to moderate rain in various areas.

The government’s announcement of half working day also resulted in less traffic on roads in the afternoon when it rained, due to which commuters were able to reach their destinations without getting stuck in traffic jams.

According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, the highest amount of rainfall was recorded in Quaidabad at 45 millimetres (mm) while 40mm of rain was recorded in DHA Phase II, 39.3mm in Korangi, 31mm in Keamari, 30.4mm in Surjani Town, 27mm in Gulshan-e-Hadeed and 26mm in PAF Faisal Base. Other areas received less rain such as the airport where 8.8mm of rainfall was recorded.

The Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation (KWSC) ensured the drainage of rainwater by installing 53 suction vehicles in different parts of the city. In a press statement, the KWSC said it had deployed all of its suction machines, de-watering pumps and other machinery before the rain started.

The corporation took measures to protect various important thoroughfares of the city and low lying areas such as the Metropole Hotel, Chief Minister House, Governor House, Muslim Gymkhana, Merewether Tower, Bilawal Chowrangi, Airport, Arts Council Chowrangi, Club Road, 26 Street, Jinnah Hospital, Nursery, Gora Qabristan, Baloch Colony, FTC Flyover, University Road, Shahrah-e-Quaideen, Wazir Mansion and various aparts of MA Jinnah Road.

A spokesman for the KWSC said the chief operating officer (COO) of the KWSC, Asadullah Khan, visited various areas of the city and personally inspected the drainage work during the rain.

Khan said the water corporation vehicles would remain on the roads until the drainage of rainwater was completed. He added that by fully implementing the instructions of the chief minister and mayor, the KWSC along with all other local bodies, including the KMC, was ensuring the rainwater drainage on an emergency basis.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah also paid surprise visits to different low-lying areas in the morning hours to check the deployment of de-watering machinery.

He visited low-lying areas in District South, including underpasses, Khaliquzzaman Road, Aiwan-e-Saddar Road, the road between the Sindh Secretariat and Sindh High Court, II Chundrigar Road and other areas.

He noticed that in some areas, the KWSC machinery had not been deployed by then. He directed the Karachi commissioner to ensure that the machinery was deployed. Meanwhile, Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab and Deputy Mayor Salman Abdullah Murad visited different areas of the city and monitored the drainage work.

In a video statement, Murad said that all sewerage points of the city were clear and machineries are in place. “All departments of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation are functioning throughout the city,” he said, urging the public not to unnecessarily leave their homes.

Wahab took to X, formerly Twitter, it inform the citizens about the city administration's preparations for rain. "Apart from pumps, 53 of these suction vehicles have been moved to various locations for clearing rainwater as and when required," he wrote on X

He added that apart from the traffic police, wardens had also been placed on major arteries to help ease the flow of traffic. The Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) in a press statement said that efforts to clear rainwater were under way without interruption.

SSWMB Managing Director Syed Imtiaz Ali Shah said that all drainage points on roads had been cleared, and the task of removing debris from drains initiated. He stressed that the SSWMB staff would be on duty throughout the night hours, ensuring timely clearance of roads.

He also visited various areas of the city and assessed the arrangements. He instructed all officers and workers to remain active. “With expected further rainfall, emergency measures will continue to be in place,” he said, adding that efforts were being made to promptly address complaints received from citizens.

He said that private contractors had also been instructed to expedite waste collection. All necessary steps, he said, would be taken to provide relief to citizens. He urged the citizens to report complaints through the helpline number 1128 or WhatsApp number 03181030851.

The K-Electric (KE) in a press statement said that the power supply to Karachi remained stable amidst intermittent showers throughout the day. The KE teams continued to monitor the situation while field teams remained available to address any faults.

The press statement added that by emergency safety protocols, power supply to low-lying areas with a risk of waterlogging and those with a high prevalence of kundas (illegal hook connections) was temporarily suspended. These areas were also gradually being re-energised after clearance from field teams.

A spokesperson for the KE advised citizens to continue exercising caution by maintaining a safe distance from all electrical infrastructure and avoid using appliances indoors with wet hands or feet. The KE said its social media platforms were accessible 24/7 to assist customers and disseminate information.