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Friday July 19, 2024

Monsoon rain brings relief to city, turns weather pleasant

By M. Waqar Bhatti
July 10, 2024
Commuters pass through a road during heavy downpour of monsoon season, at Shahrah-e-Faisal road in Karachi on July 9, 2024. — PPI
Commuters pass through a road during heavy downpour of monsoon season, at Shahrah-e-Faisal road in Karachi on July 9, 2024. — PPI

Following days of hot and humid weather, different areas of Karachi on Tuesday received moderate to heavy showers under the influence of a monsoon system that is present over lower Sindh, causing power outages, the inundation of roads and traffic jams on major thoroughfares of the city.

The heaviest rain was recorded at 59.2mm in Surjani Town, followed by 38.3mm in the old airport area, 30mm in Orangi Town, 26mm in Gulshan-e-Hadeed, 20.2mm at the Met Complex on University Road, 19mm in Saadi Town, and 17mm at the PAF Base Faisal.

Quaidabad received 12mm of rain, North Karachi 8.6mm, Keamari 8mm, Gulshan-e-Maymar 7.7mm, Korangi 6.8mm, Nazimabad 4mm, Malir Halt 3mm, and other areas less than 2mm. Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) officials said that a monsoon system over lower Sindh was the cause of the heavy rain in some parts of the city, adding that the heavy showers brought the city’s temperature down from 38°C to 29°C within an hour.

They said that although the rain-causing system had moved away from the city, its remnants could cause light to moderate rain on Tuesday night or early on Wednesday morning. Tuesday’s rain caused the inundation of roads and the low-lying areas of the city, while traffic jams were witnessed on many arteries of the city, including Sharea Faisal, University Road, Shahrah-e-Pakistan, Shahrah-e-Noorjahan and other roads.

Power outages were also reported in different areas, including Orangi Town, Surjani Town, North Karachi, Nazimabad, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Federal B Area and Gulshan-e-Iqbal, as many feeders tripped after it started raining.

Timely action

Karachi Mayor Barrister Murtaza Wahab visited different areas of the city after rainfall on Tuesday.

During his visit talking to the media, he said that despite the rainfall in the city, the situation remained under control in various areas, and the process of drainage through storm water drains continued smoothly.

He vowed that if further rains occur, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) will continue its efforts in collaboration with other civic bodies to ensure that citizens do not face difficulties during the monsoon season.

Wahab said that some areas of Karachi received more rain than others, and according to the Meteorological Department’s forecast, more rainfall is expected. However, the KMC has completed prior arrangements to manage these rains effectively.

The ongoing process of cleaning storm water drains has resulted in normal flow according to the usual conditions, especially due to the elimination of choking points, thereby minimizing hindrances in the drainage of rainwater. Continuous monitoring of all major drains in Karachi, he said, would be maintained, and all relevant departments are actively engaged in this process.

He said officers and staff of the Master Control Room (MCR) remained present on all major roads during the rainfall, and will continue to be on duty during future rains to promptly respond to any emergencies. He added that necessary equipment, including pumps and machinery, has been deployed to areas prone to issues with rainwater drainage, with additional resources available as needed.

Wahab emphasized that like the previous rains, this time the deputy commissioners and other district municipal authorities are actively working to provide relief to citizens during the monsoon season. He personally oversees the situation of rainwater drainage during rainfall and maintains constant coordination with the town administration to ensure all tasks are executed through collaborative wisdom.

Directives for DCs

Commissioner Syed Hasan Naqvi has directed all deputy commissioners to stay in close contact with the relevant departments. He emphasized ensuring full implementation of the emergency plans devised to tackle the rains.

Meanwhile, deputy commissioners have informed the commissioner that all relevant departments have been alerted post-rains. These departments are actively working in the field to ensure proper drainage of water. Assistant commissioners have also been instructed to remain in the field and be prepared to handle any emergency situations.

Power supply

K-Electric (KE) in a press statement said that the power supply to the city remained stable during the first scattered showers of the monsoon spell.

Utility staff vigilantly monitored the situation and ensured network stability with an uninterrupted power supply through 1,800 of KE’s city-wide network of 2,100 feeders.

The remaining areas included those where the electricity supply was temporarily shut down owing to safety risks presented by a prevalence of kundas (illegal connections) or potential waterlogging.

The power supply to these areas was also restored as soon as weather conditions subsided, and clearance was given by KE field teams.

The press statement included that the KE teams remain proactively engaged with key departments of the Government of Sindh, the MET Department and the city administration to ensure smooth coordination for the city, amid forecasts of a monsoon season bringing above-average rainfall to the country.

The KE spokesperson urged citizens to prioritise their safety and those around them. When outdoors, maintain a clean, safe distance from all electricity infrastructure always. Even inside homes, avoid using appliances, especially water motors with wet hands or feet. For customers using generators as backup supplies, it is strongly recommended to place them at an elevated, dry location with proper ventilation.

KE’s social media platforms, KE Live App, and WhatsApp self-service portal are the fastest channels for updates and customer complaints. In case of emergency electrical complaints, customers can contact 118 for assistance in line with the company’s protocols.

SSWMB

The managing director of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) has instructed all districts to carry out uninterrupted drainage work.

All officers and staff are actively engaged. After intermittent rains, the staff promptly took control of the situation and carried out timely drainage work.

Relief camps have been set up in various zones to provide aid to the citizens. These camps are already operational in different areas. Officers and staff will remain on the roads late into the night to ensure relief provision. Many roads have been cleared of water following the rains, and an emergency remains in effect in anticipation of further rain.

The SSWMB in a press statement said staff would remain in the field, and any complaints from citizens will be promptly addressed. Private contractors have been instructed to expedite garbage removal. All necessary measures are being taken to provide relief to the citizens.

The public is urged to report complaints by contacting the helpline number 1128 or WhatsApp number 03181030851, or by downloading the SSWMB Complaints Karachi app. Complaint centers will remain active.