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Rain causes further damage in Potohar region

Updated August 15, 2013

ISLAMABAD, Aug 14: Two people died as a result of the rains in Chakwal, while one is still missing on Wednesday.

Mohammad Akhtar, a resident of Talagang city, had gone with his wife and two sons for a picnic at Pirnara site.

While the family was walking at the bank of Ghabir Nullah, it was swept away by a sudden wave.

Locals managed to rescue Akhtar and his son Muneeb, but his wife Tahira was killed. The other son, Haseeb, 10, is still missing.

In another incident, a fifteen-year-old girl died in Danda Shah Bilawal Village, Talagang, while three of her family members sustained serious injuries when the roof suddenly collapsed on them.

Meanwhile, two women and a baby girl were injured in Habib Colony, Westridge Rawalpindi after the roof of their house collapsed due to the heavy rain. They were rescued from the debris by the residents of the area and were rushed to a hospital.

Property Damaged

A government house in G-7/4 collapsed due to the heavy rain.

An official of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) said over 10,000 government houses had been constructed in the 70s.

People had illegally constructed rooms in the courtyards and roofs of government houses, which had weakened the foundation, he said, adding that the rains had further exposed this weakness.

“The single storey houses were constructed 40 years ago and have passed their life time. However, a large number of residents construct rooms on the roof due to which these houses can collapse any time,” he said.

The CDA official said former CDA Chairman Kamran Lashari had announced that flats would be constructed for the residents of government house, and the land of those houses would be used for commercial purposes instead. However, the proposal had never been implemented, he added.

Similarly, the Committee Chowk underpass in Rawalpindi, which had been completed in 2004 at an estimated cost of Rs320 million, has developed cracks.

The tiles and bricks have also chipped off the side walls, exposing the poor construction of the project.

An official of the City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) told Dawn that the civic agencies had not paid attention to the minor seepages at the underpass, which had been expanded by the heavy rains.

“The water accumulated at the main road and could not be drained out because of the improper drainage system, and water pumps were not used due to the negligence of Punjab Communication and Works,” he said.

In Chakwal, the boundary walls of 28 houses and shops collapsed due to the heavy rain.

The water which entered these shops also caused damage to the goods, while furniture and other household items were also damaged.

“I have suffered a loss of nearly Rs150,000,” said Haroon, a shopkeeper whose photocopy machine was damaged by the rain.

Others also complained that their house and property had been damaged and they did not have the resources to rebuild them.

District Coordination Officer (Chakwal) Yawar Hussain told Dawn that the administration had set up two relief camps for flood victims where food and accommodation would be provided, adding that the city needed to be redesigned to save it from floods in the future.

Power Cut

The recent rain has disrupted power supply to several localities.

In Islamabad, residents of Sector I-14, I-15 and I-16 are facing electricity shortage.

Previously, power supply to these sectors had been terminated for six days (August 6 to 12) after a technical fault developed, and the supply was again cut off due to the rain on August 14.

Anwar Ahmed, a resident of I-14, told Dawn that loose wires on the electricity poles had touched each other, causing damage to the transformer in the area.

“Complaints were registered with Iesco (Islamabad Electric Supply Company) but the staff misbehaved with us,” he said.

On the other hand, Iesco’s Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) Mohammad Ali told Dawn that a number of transformers had been stolen from the area and since the houses were far apart, providing a connection to houses far from the transformer was not possible.