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July 13, 2018

Rains in Lahore


July 13, 2018

For a country whose dams are reaching the dead level and which is on the verge of being declared a water-stressed country, rain is a sign of hope. However, all hell broke loose when it rained in Lahore. The main incident that took place was the creation of a huge sinkhole at GPO Chowk. The traffic got stuck and it was a challenging day for various government organisations, including the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA). But within two days, the road was repaired and was opened for traffic.

In addition, the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) remained busy all day. It removed the rainwater from the city’s roads in less than 12 hours after the record downpour (283 mm). The Wasa authorities also created small substations in different parts of Lahore for the drainage of the standing water from roads, streets, houses, offices and parking lots. The authorities should be lauded for a quick response.

Saad Anwar



Last week, heavy rains wreaked havoc on Lahore’s drainage system and infrastructure. It was the kind of a natural calamity that could have incapacitated any city of the world, much less Lahore. However, there are a few factors that must be considered, should the government conduct review of the entire situation. Back in the 1980s, the city had a reasonably robust drainage system when neighbourhoods were being used only for residential purposes. Things went wrong when the construction of commercial buildings was allowed. This overburdened the infrastructure.

Now, the system will definitely get choked in the event of a little more than average rains. As roads and public transport systems of the city got remodelled on modern lines, no regard was made to upgrade the drainage system. All the authorities concerned defaulted to take into account this critical issue. As a result, Lahore’s roads caved in after the rain. It is time the city planners took a look at the existing deficiencies and dealt with them in an efficient manner.

Naguib Ullah Malik


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