Murad seeks plan to prevent flooding in Karachi after rains

Updated 29 Jul 2020

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THE Gujjar Nala, which was choked with garbage, overflowed during the rain and spilled its contents onto the road as is seen here on Tuesday.—Fahim Siddiqi/ White Star
THE Gujjar Nala, which was choked with garbage, overflowed during the rain and spilled its contents onto the road as is seen here on Tuesday.—Fahim Siddiqi/ White Star

KARACHI: Following two days of downpour in Karachi, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday decided to monitor the city situation through 28 sub-divisional committees comprising elected representatives and his cabinet members for timely and properly disposal of rainwater.

“I need a solid mechanism for saving low-lying areas where rainwater has flooded the houses,” he said while presiding over a meeting to review the monsoon situation and cleanliness of storm-water drains.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers Saeed Ghani and Syed Nasir Shah, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Special Assistants to CM Waqar Mehdi, Rashid Rabbani, Sajid Jamal Abro, Home Secretary Usman Chachar, Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani and other officials.

The chief minister said that the local bodies should have an emergency plan to deal with the heavy rain situation in the city.

“The irrigation department maintains a mile-wise protection plan of embankments of their canals under which they mark vulnerable and weak points and take prompt action in case of floods,” he said.

10 patients die of Covid-19 and 574 new cases emerge overnight in Sindh

Mr Shah said that the local bodies should have a similar plan under which low-lying areas, choking points, bottlenecks, culverts of storm-water drains and their catchment areas should have been identified on a map so that deployment of staff and necessary machinery could be installed in case of downpour.

Removal of encroachments from drains ordered

He said that only cleaning of drains was not enough but a detailed plan must be prepared through a proper and professional survey.

“Our natural waterways have either been encroached or turned into housing societies, therefore rainwater could not flow away in gravity,” he said.

Mr Shah directed the local government minister to remove encroachments from storm-water drains and continue their cleaning under a World Bank project and with local funding of the government.

The LG minister told the chief minister that from July 26 when the rain had started he along with the water board, local government, district municipal corporations’ (DMCs) senior officers had been on the roads. “The rainwater where accumulated was pumped out through machinery and clearance of choking points that is why all the major roads have been cleared,” he said.

The chief minister said that in low-lying areas rainwater flooded various houses.

“I want a plan under which these houses could be protected,” he said and added that the small drains crossing from such residential localities must be maintained properly.

Mr Shah decided to look after the city of Karachi on sub-division level where elected representatives would be assigned the duty to ensure proper discharge of the accumulated rainwater.

There are 28 sub-divisions in Karachi division and every sub-division is headed by an assistant commissioner.

The local government minister, on the directives of the chief minister, chaired a joint meeting of civic bodies to identify choking points on the main roads, residential and commercial areas so that further action could be taken accordingly.

244 new Covid-19 cases in Karachi

As many as 574 new cases of coronavirus emerged overnight when 9,571 samples were tested lifting the tally to 119,398. Ten more patients died lifting the death toll to 2,172.

This was stated by CM Shah in a statement issued here from CM House on Tuesday.

He said that 9,571 tests were conducted, which detected 574 new cases constituting six per cent current detection rate.

He added that so far 728,119 samples had been tested against which 119,398 cases were diagnosed all over Sindh that constituted 16pc overall detection rate.

Mr Shah said that 10 more patients died due to Covid-19 lifting the death toll to 2,172 that came to 1.8pc death rate.

He added that 509 more patients recovered overnight, lifting the number of patients recovered so far to 108,989.

As many as 8,237 patients are under treatment, of them 7,721 are in home isolation, 11 in isolation centres and 505 in different hospitals, he said, adding that the condition of 410 patients was stated to be critical, including 67 who were put on ventilators.

He said that out of 574 new cases, 244 were detected in Karachi. They include South 74, East 57, Korangi 33, Malir and West 28 each, and Central 24.

He said that Sukkur had 26 cases, Dadu 25, Khairpur 24, Ghotki 23, Hyderabad and Shikarpur 21 each, Naushahro Feroze 20, Kashmore 18, Sanghar 16, Tando Mohammad Khan 13, Shaheed Benazirabad 12, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot and Jamshoro seven each, Badin six, Matiari five, Larkana and Qambar three each and Jacobabad had one case.

Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2020