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August 8, 2020

Flooding and power outages persist as monsoon spell continues on second day


August 8, 2020

The mighty Gujjar Nullah once again overflowed in Karachi’s District Central on Friday on the second day of the ongoing moderate-to-heavy rain, which is the fourth spell of the current monsoon season in the city.

However, the situation did not turn as ugly as it was during the third spell, in which the overflowing drain had flooded the entire central district. The reason for which is the federal government’s intervention, which resulted in assigning the cleaning work of the drain to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) after the last rain spell.

On Friday, FC Area, Nazimabad No 4 and areas of Liaquatabad were once again flooded with water that overflowed from the Gujjar Nullah at around 4pm. Some residents of these areas were worried that if it did not stop raining, the filthy water of the drain might enter their homes and shops.

One of the residents of FC Area, Umair Malik, told The News that the situation on Friday was far better than the previous rainfall before Eid. “The water that overflowed from the Gujjar Nullah did not bring out filth and garbage with it. On the main roads, there was two-to-three inch water, while in internal areas such as Moosa Colony, few streets had three-to-four foot water,” he said, adding that if it had rained more, the area once again could have been inundated badly.

Different parts of the city received rain on Friday, crippling the city life as usual. The power breakdown in many areas due to Thursday’s rainfall could not be restored even on Friday, while after Friday’s rainfall, more than 500 feeders of the K-Electric (KE) tripped.

According to the power utility, due to the accumulation of water in several areas of the city, their teams were facing immense difficulty in the power restoration work.

While most of the citizens chose to stay at home on Friday due to the forecast of intermittent rain, there were several who headed to their offices and got stuck on their way back to home due to snarl-ups and inundated roads. On Sharea Faisal, there was knee-deep water at different spots which broke down several cars and motorcycles.

From the Natha Khan Flyover all the way till the airport, Sharea Faisal was completely flooded at around 6pm and the machinery deployed by the city authorities seemed to have completely failed to remove the water. The authorities waited for the rain to subside so that more dewatering pumps could be deployed for the drainage of water.

A similar situation was observed on Karsaz, where the Karsaz flyover was closed for the traffic, due to which the volume of traffic towards Drigh Road increased.

Rashid Minhas Road was relatively clean, however, before the Nipa Flyover, the usual knee-deep water was witnessed. In Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Jauhar Chowrangi was as usual flooded while residents of many areas of its Block 12 had to suffer the gushing rainwater in their streets.

In Azizabad, rainwater entered inside homes, causing damage to the household stuff. Similarly, Nagan Chowrangi was once again completely closed for traffic movement from Sakhi Hassan towards UP Mor, due to the overflow of small water drains under the jurisdiction of District Municipal Corporation (DMC) Central.

The authorities seem to have no solution for the overflowing drains near Nagan Chowrangi as this is the fourth consecutive monsoon spell that has caused massive flooding in the area.

Meanwhile, several areas of District West were also flooded after the rain but the situation was not as bad as reported in the last monsoon spell.

In District South, several areas of Saddar Town were flooded. Residents of Lyari had a miserable day as they had already been facing overflowing gutters. The intermittent moderate-to-heavy rainfall not onlyflooded several internal and small streets of the town but the rainwater mixed with sewage entered homes and unplanned katchi abadis.

Different areas of PECHS were also flooded. Residents of the Karachi Administration Employees Housing Society arranged a tractor on their own to clean a problematic drain in the area to ensure the proper drainage of water during the rain.

Mayor’s visit

Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar on Friday visited different areas of District South, including Gizri, Punjab Colony, Karachi Cantt, II Chundrigar Road, MA Jinnah Road and PIDC during the heavy rain and reviewed the drainage process.

Akhtar directed the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) staffers to remain in the field till the drainage of water was complete and asked them to utilise all the machinery and resources to facilitate the citizens.

According to a press statement issued by the KMC, the mayor also contacted the chairmen of District Municipal Corporations and asked them to expedite the cleanliness of drains and fixing of choking points to save the residencies from rainwater.

Power outages

Many power outages after the Thursday’s rainfall could not be resolved in several areas of the city. More than 80 per cent of the city was without power when it started to rain on Friday. People suffered announced and unannounced intermittent power outages even before the rainfall.

The areas where the power supply was disrupted included Surjani Town, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Golimar, Defence Housing Authority, Clifton, PECHS, Saadi Town, Gulshan-e-Maymar, New Karachi, North Karachi, Naziambad, North Nazimabad, Gulberg, Kharadar and Lyari. Residents of these areas complained that due to prolonged power breakdowns, even their UPS and generators could not help them for long as USP batteries were discharged and generators ran out of petrol.

A resident of Nazimabad No 4 complained that the power was restored for only few hours after the rainfall on Thursday and since then, they did not have any power again.

Hub Dam

The water level in the Hub Dam increased by four feet and reached 316 feet by 8pm. According to a statement issued by the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), the water level in the dam had increased due to the heavy rainfall in the catchments areas of the reservoir.

“The dam is being filled with more water,” a spokesperson for the KWSB said, adding that the dam had now enough water to fulfil the needs of Karachi for one-and-a-half year.

The city receives 100 million gallons of water from the Hub Dam on a daily basis. With more water coming in the dam, District Central and District West, according to the KWSB, will benefit the most. From July 26 till Friday, the dam has witnessed around a seven-foot increase in its water level.