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July 31, 2019

Mayor seeks Centre’s help as low-lying areas flooded by rain


July 31, 2019

Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar sought the federal government’s support as heavy monsoon rains continued to batter Karachi on Tuesday, crippling life and inundating several streets of the metropolis with rainwater.

The situation became worse in North Karachi’s Power House Chowrangi, Surjani Town and Khuda Ki Basti, where streets were not only flooded but the rainwater entered inside houses. The residents of Yousuf Goth, situated near Power House Chowrangi, placed bricks and cement in front of their small 80-to-120-yard houses, but failed to stop the rainwater from entering their homes.

Beenish kept throwing the water outside her home through a bucket, but couldn’t. “After 6am it rained heavily which flooded the entire area,” she said and lamented that no government authority visited their goth to drain out the water.

The situation at the main Power House Chowrangi was also worse, as there was knee-deep water and no vehicle could ply on the road. “We don’t know what authorities do with these rain drains every year. They always fail to drain out the water from the locality,” said a resident of the Haroon Royal apartments near the Power House Chowrangi, Owais Muhammad.

Floodwater from Manogpir inundated the entire Khud Ki Basti from where few residents were evacuated. Residents of the area pooled in money and drained out the water through machinery themselves, as they had no hope from the authorities. “Our children fall inside gutters, rain drains but no authority pays heed,” said a young resident, Ali. “This time we didn’t wait for the authorities, we collected money, brought pumps and drained out the water.”

The old city area, Garden, Kharadar, and streets leading to the Karachi Zoological Garden were all flooded with rainwater, as no government machinery could be deployed by the authorities for drainage.

Roads in front of the Wazir Mansion, the birthplace museum of Quaid-e-Azam, in Kharadar, were all submerged in rainwater.

Due to the construction of three flyovers on Sher Shah Suri Road, the Sakhi Hassan Chowrangi, the Five Star Chowrangi and the KDA Chowrangi remained inundated on Tuesday also, as authorities completely failed to drain water. “These pits at Sakhi Hassan Chowrangi are so huge that a normal vehicle cannot pass through it,” said a commuter, Asif Ali, and added that the authorities should have carpeted the roads before rainfall.

The solid waste swept along the rainwater and flooded entire Sakhi Hassan Graveyard. The trash was visible on several graves of the graveyard, with no authority seen on ground. There wasn’t any drainage at Nipa Chowrangi, which was also flooded with knee-deep water.

A huge pit also emerged on a road leading to Sharea Faisal from Tariq Road, after which traffic movement was completely blocked.

Futile govt measures

Unable to control the situation, Mayor Akhtar wrote to the federal minister for maritime affairs, Ali Haider Zaidi, for his support.

He also appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan for help and said that since people in Karachi were going through a hard time and the Sindh government had failed owing to its lack of interest, the federal government should help the citizens.

He feared that if it rained more, many localities in the city would be completely inundated. He complained that the Sindh government did not give a single vehicle to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) despite persistent rains in Karachi.

Talking to media representatives at the Liaquatabad Underpass, he said that the city was inundated with rainwater after 40 hours of continuous rain and water stayed on roads due to the blockage of sewerage lines.

Before the rainfall, he shared that it had been decided in different meetings with the Sindh government that the KMC would be assisted by the Sindh government. “We were never helped nor was a vehicle provided in this connection,” he said.

Responding to the mayor’s letter, Zaidi in a tweet said that he also discussed the matter with Prime Minister Imran Khan in detail. “The federal government through the maritime government will do all it can to address the emergency in Karachi,” he said.