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August 6, 2019

Work to replace 50-year-old sewage line likely to be completed after Eid


August 6, 2019

The recent rainfall in Karachi has caused the 50-year-old sewerage infrastructure in the Saddar area to collapse, due to which sewage has accumulated on many streets resulting in traffic jams.

A sewage line of 42-inch diameter had collapsed on the intersection of Sharea Faisal and Shahrah-e-Quaideen last Tuesday when it rained heavily in the metropolis. The sewage line has been repaired by the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB).

On Friday, another sewage line collapsed on Sharea Faisal near the Metropole Hotel, causing severe troubles to the commuters on Sharea Faisal going to the Saddar area. Work to replace the sewage line is under way but it is not likely to be completed before Eidul Azha.

The work started on Saturday, after different areas of Saddar including the Mobile Market, Zaibunnisa Street, Fawara Chowk, Abdullah Haroon Road, Raja Ghazanfar Ali Road and the surrounding road of the Metropole Hotel were inundated with sewage following the collapse of the 54-inch-diameter sewage line at the traffic police kiosk of the Metropole Hotel.

In order to replace the line, a 27-foot-deep and 280-foot-long excavation has been done near the Metropole Hotel due to which the traffic police sub-station has also been demolished. The sewage lines damaged after the recent rain were laid in 1960s by the Karachi Development Authority (KDA), and they have served more than their life that was specified at the time of their design, says KWSB Executive Engineer Aftab Chandio.

Talking to The News, he said these sewage lines were expected to remain in a workable condition for 25 to 30 years but more than 50 years have passed since they were laid. When asked why the KWSB did not replace the entire structure and wait for the rickety lines to collapse, he responded that it would require heavy funds and massive excavations throughout the business hub of Saddar.

Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani, according to an official of the KWSB, is overseeing the work as the excavated road is in the vicinity of the Governor House, the Chief Minister House and military installations. The cost of the work has been estimated at Rs700,000, the official said.

The sewage line, according to the official, has been damaged from inside, due to which it cannot take sewage of the Saddar area causing it to overflow on the streets of Saddar. From the Metropole Hotel, the line goes towards PIDC where the KWSB has a pump that passes the sewage towards sea.

The official said that once the work was completed, the District Municipal Corporation (DMC) South would carpet the road, which would be done after Eid. KWSB chief Asadullah Khan in a statement said the work to replace the line would be completed in four to five days. He said he had issued orders to speed up the work.

Advice to commuters

According to a statement issued by the traffic police, a single lane is operational in front of the Metropole Hotel towards PIDC. They said the commuters making their way from the airport towards Defence or Clifton should leave Sharea Faisal at the FTC intersection and use Korangi Road to reach their destinations.

The commuters coming to the Saddar area from Sharea Faisal have been advised to turn towards the FTC, take a U-turn at CSD and use the Lucky Star flyover to enter Saddar. Those going towards Cantt and Clifton have been advised to take a turn from Regent Plaza towards Rafiqui Shaheed Road and use Lilly Bridge.

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