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June 5, 2020

Wasa finalises plan to handle urban flooding during monsoon

Lahore

June 5, 2020

LAHORE:To handle urban flooding and manage storm water during the upcoming monsoon season, Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) has finalised its plan paying special emphasis on 26 sore points of the provincial capital historically known for accumulation of rainwater during monsoon.

Critical activities of this plan included operations of disposal stations, ensuring flow of channels and dewatering operations from low-lying pockets and overall monitoring of the situation. As per the plan, Wasa will establish emergency camps, place machinery on critical points and run extensive awareness programme and media campaign to sensitise the general public.

Managing Director Wasa said that emergency camps were already established in the city while placement of machinery on critical points had also been done. In the light of historical data, he said Wasa has identified 26 critical sites where suction machines will be installed to drain out accumulated rainwater.

These sites are Bhatti Gate, Sheranwala Gate, Eik-Moria Pull, Lakshmi Chowk, GPO, Nabha Road, Firdous Market, Do-Moria Pull, Kashmir Road, Cooper Road, Lytton Road, Chowk Na Khuda, Lawrence Road, Usman Block Garden Town, Link Road (Model Town), Sultan Ahmed Road Ichra, B-Block Tajpura, General Hospital/Qainchi Stop, Tikka Chowk Johar Town, Empress Road / Haji Camp, Qurtaba Chowk, Shah Jamal, Lahore Railway Station, Baghechi Seithan GT Road, Multan Road near Lesco Grid and Karim Block Market.

The total coverage area of Wasa is 350sq km, which contained sewer length of 5,187km and water supply line length of 6,212km. Wasa has 13 major disposal stations while 113 lift stations were also established in the city to manage the 55.70 km primary drains, which disposed of their water in Ravi River, the only disposal site for drainage water in the city.

As per historical rain data for the past five years, the monsoon activities started in the City from July 1st and continued by end of September. Wasa officials were directed to study the previous data about rainfall of their respective jurisdictions so that they could take measures in case of any emergency.

The five-year data about maximum rainfall in a day in the city showed that from 2014 to 2018, maximum rainfall recorded in the city was on July 03, 2018 when the city received a massive 288mm rainfall inundating almost every part of the provincial capital for hours.

Earlier, the city recorded 177mm rainfall on September 4, 2014, 96.6mm rainfall on September 2, 2016, 77mm rainfall on June 28, 2017 and 67mm rainfall on July 07, 2015.

Wasa MD Zahid Aziz claimed that a fully integrated monsoon control room will also be established in Wasa head office. Moreover, Wasa’s field officials were directed to submit their dewatering plans along with the locations of dewatering sets and duty roster of operators deputed for the operation of dewatering sets.

Zahid Aziz said that a speedy mobile squad for the trouble shooting of dewatering sets will also be established while cleaning of road side drains will be completed before June 15, 2020.

Answering a question about liaison between other government departments during monsoon, he said field staff would remain in close liaison with Lesco, Met office, LDA, Traffic Police and, etc. regarding uninterrupted electric supply at disposal/lift stations as well as for other day to day problems.

As per SOPs issued to the Wasa field staff, including SDOs, XENS and directors were responsible to ensure effective operation of all sewage pumping stations and reporting to CMC, to get reports about smooth functioning of all sewage pumping stations and maintain minimum level in wet wells, to manage all water supply tube-wells to curtail sewage load on sewerage system, to deploy suction machines at specified locations of the city, to monitor deployment of suction machines, to deploy sewerage staff on specified ponding locations, to get reports about rain from all base stations, to ensure presence of drainage staff on all emergency drainage centres, major disposal stations and all underpasses for smooth operation of pumping machinery.

Wasa MD said that the field staff would immediately respond to reporting of any emergency, including power failure, inundation, machinery break down, etc. They will also ensure complete drainage of rainwater for all sore points and update rain/dewatering data and review for improvement besides keeping close liaison with all stakeholders. No negligence would be tolerated during the monsoon season, he said.