HYDERABAD: Army personnel moved in on Wednesday to evacuate people marooned due to rains for the past three days in the city. They also brought their dewatering machines to drain out rainwater from the affected areas.

The civil administration did not make any request to them, but considering enormity of the crisis in the backdrop of prolonged power breakdown on July 29, they started rescue work voluntarily.

Fed up with accumulation of rainwater in their areas, rain-affected people surrounded parliamentarians of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Hyderabad Deputy Commissioner Aijaz Ali Shah and Hyderabad Development Authority (HDA) acting director general Ghulam Mohammad in a threatening way.

Soldiers first arrived at Unit-2 Latifabad area where shoulder-deep rainwater was accumulated in houses. The army personnel installed dewatering machines in Unit-2 and started pumping out rainwater in a vacant piece of land in a nearby public school’s premises.

They also moved to Mehar Ali Colony in Unit-11 of Latifabad where they also used boats to evacuate men, women and children to safer places. Troops also distributed some medicines and first aid-related articles among people.

A senior army officer, who visited Unit-2 Latifabad, observed while talking to residents that troops would move to other areas in Qasimabad and Latifabad to rescue people and provide the much-needed relief as they had been suffering since Monday.

Accumulation of rainwater since July 29 has paralysed life in all these areas located in Latifabad and Qasimabad. Many residents have already shifted to other areas.

The area’s union committee chairman Wasim Laakhan said: “We are getting more inflows into Unit-2 from other areas while disposal of outflows rem­ained low; that’s why situation is not impro­ving fast.”

Latifabad and Qasimabad remained the worst affected talukas where water could not be drained out in the absence of electricity. More generators, according to Sindh Local Government Minis­ter Saeed Ghani, were procured to be installed at those pumping stations where power supply was not restored.

Situation in Qasimabad remained no different from units 2 and 11 of Latif­abad. Areas like Phase-1, 2, Abdullah Bungalows, Sheedi Goth and other areas remained inundated.

Published in Dawn, August 1st, 2019

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