Heavy rain raises water level in Leh Nullah, drains

11 Aug 2020

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Children wade through rainwater in a street in Ferozepura near Naz Cinema in Rawalpindi on Monday. — Photo by Mohammad Asim
Children wade through rainwater in a street in Ferozepura near Naz Cinema in Rawalpindi on Monday. — Photo by Mohammad Asim

RAWALPINDI: The heavy rain in Rawalpindi and Islamabad on Monday raised the water level in Leh Nullah and drains in the inner city.

The Met Office recorded 39 millimetres of rain in Zero Point, 33mm in Golra, 12mm in Bokra, 22mm in Saidpur and the Islamabad International Airport area, 15mm in Chaklala and 68mm in Shamsabad.

It has also forecast more rain in the twin cities in the next 48 hours.

“Monsoon currents are penetrating upper parts of the country and westerly waves also affected the region. In these weather conditions, we are expecting morerainfall during the next 48 hours,” a Met official said.

The rain began in the afternoon and continued until the evening.

The few hours of rain choked the downtown sewerage system and the area around Leh Nullah, with water accumulating in streets in low-lying areas.

The level of water also increased in local drains, which the Rawalpindi Metropolitan Corporation (RMC) and Chaklala Cantonment Board (CCB) failed to clean in time for the monsoon.

People living around Moti Mehal Cinema spent the afternoon draining water from their homes, while water accumulated on Jamia Masjid Road and stalled traffic.

Shopkeeper Mohammad Sadiq said that the condition of the sewerage system in the area caused water to accumulate on Jamia Masjid Road and enter shops.

He said the few minutes of rainfall had exposed the negligence of the RMC with regard to sewerage. Complaints have been lodged with the civic body, but it has turned a blind eye to the issue, he added.

Mohammad Tayyab, who lives in Kamalabad, said that CCB never cleaned the nullahs before the rainy season, causing problems for residents.

When contacted, Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) Managing Director Raja Shaukat Mehmood said that although 68mm of rain was recorded in the city, Leh Nullah did not rise above 7 feet in Gawalmandi and 8.5ft in Kattarian.

He said Wasa and other departments were on alert to deal with any emergencies, but no such situation emerged. He admitted that rainwater submerged some areas and caused problems for the public, but added that the water was drained from these areas within an hour.

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2020