Monday October 18, 2021

Urban flooding unnerves Pindiites

September 09, 2021

Rawalpindi : Nowadays, the residents of low-lying areas are spending sleepless nights due to inundated roads and streets of the city, thanks to the apathy of government machinery that has literally failed to improve the sewage system. The start of the monsoon always sets alarm bells ringing for the people living in low-lying areas of Rawalpindi who always fear for their life and property due to the constant threat of floods but elected representatives and government machinery as per routine only gives allusive statements but practically has done nothing for years.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar during his recent visit to Rawalpindi stated that the Punjab government was determined to start the Leh Expressway project to protect the public from flooding during monsoon season. But, the people of Rawalpindi are still waiting for the dream to come true.

According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, heavy rainfall here in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are expected till Friday.

‘The News’ interviewed citizens settled in different localities of Rawalpindi who said that all their life they have seen people of their localities fearing for floods during monsoon. Always, the elected representatives are making big promises to resolve the public-related issues but in vain. Nobody resolves public issues, they said.

“Sometime in the past, I thought that we would get rid of this threat in the coming years but it never happened. I still hope a time will come when the issue of flooding will be resolved once and for all,” said Muhammad Mukhtar, a senior citizen.

Mumtaz Ahmed, a resident of the city said Nullah Leh often gets choked at various points every year during the monsoon that increases the risk of flooding in low-lying areas. Secondly, all gutters and small nullahs are overflowing because of garbage, polythene bags, etc. Who will take action, who will resolve all these issues, and who will consider public-related issues sincerely, he said.

Technical flaws in the construction of the major roads including poorly designed outlet ditches and multiple lower grounds leave them inundated with rainwater. The major roads like Murree Road, Liaquat Road, Saddar City Road, Jamia Masjid Road, Fifth Road, Commercial Market, Satellite Town, Chirah Road, Sadiqabad, Misriyal Road Ghaffar Kayani Road, Siham Road, Westridge, Peshawar Road, and others turn into ponds after heavy rain every time. Owing to this, hours-long traffic snarls in various areas of the city have become a routine.

Nazir Ahmed, a local said that government should find out a solution to this problem or provide the people with alternative land and loans to build their new homes.

The work on desilting and dredging of Nullah Leh had been completed with the help of a D-wiring set, screw jetting machine, water bowsers and sewer cleaning machines.

The residents of low-lying areas said heavy rainfall raised the water levels in the Nullah Leh due to which we stayed awake in the night. “It is really strange that the issue of Nullah Leh has been haunting the people for the last many decades and it is yet to be resolved. The concerned authorities should now give this issue a serious thought to protect the life and property of the people,” they said.