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Sunday June 23, 2024

OCAC urges Karachi authorities to start repair work before rain

By Our Correspondent
May 30, 2024
A fire bridage spraying water in the Keamari Oil Installation Area. — Online/file
A fire bridage spraying water in the Keamari Oil Installation Area. — Online/file 

KARACHI: Pakistan’s oil sector has expressed deep concern over the condition of the Keamari Oil Installation Area (KOIA) in view of the torrential rain warning issued by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA).

“No effective action has been taken so far despite our repeated requests regarding challenging conditions in the area,” stated the Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) in a letter to the chairperson of the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and Karachi’s mayor.

The oil body notes that the situation is now critical as the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has predicted over a 100 per cent increase in monsoon rains in Karachi starting from June till August 2024.

If the necessary preventive measures with regard to sewerage and road infrastructure are not undertaken immediately, the OCAC fears that the forecasted heavy rains/urban ooding may result in signi cant damage to infrastructure, resultantly obstructing the smooth operations and impacting the oil supply chain of the country.

It says that while re neries and oil marketing companies, which have their terminals at the KOIA, have been swift in clearing their dues, there has been no progress with regard to the refurbishment of this critical zone. A large volume of re ned POL products is transported daily through several tank lorries from Keamari to upcountry locations; however, the roads are carpeted with craters and potholes for the past few years.

The OCAC argues that the integrity of the oil installation area is crucial not only for our operations but also for the safe navigation of tank lorries as well as the daily commute of of ce staff. Moreover, the blockage of sewerage lines at the KOIA exacerbates the situation by causing water to enter the trenches of the terminals, leading to operational halts and severe disruptions.

Given the impending monsoon season, it is now more urgent than ever to mobilize resources to manage the upcoming torrential rains effectively. In the larger interest of maintaining safety and operational continuity, the OCAC has sought intervention for the repairing and maintenance of the road infrastructure within the oil installation area; the restoration of the blocked sewerage lines; and the removal of the encroachments by illegal roadside workshops by issuing directions to teams to take prompt action and help mitigate the risks posed by the upcoming monsoon season.According to the OCAC, it is “available for a joint visit to survey and assess the immediate repair work needed at the KOIA.”