Parts of Karachi remain submerged, without electricity more than 72 hours after record rains

Published August 30, 2020
This picture shows the rainwater still accumulated at Khayaban-e-Muhafiz, DHA. — Dawn
This picture shows the rainwater still accumulated at Khayaban-e-Muhafiz, DHA. — Dawn

Several areas of Karachi remained submerged and without power on Sunday, four days after record-breaking rains wreaked havoc on the city.

Residents took to social media to complain about power outages lasting more than 72 hours, as several parts of Karachi including Defence, Clifton, Tower, Orangi, Surjani Town, Naya Nazimabad and old city areas remained inundated with water.

In a video message, PTI MPA Shehzad Qureshi blamed the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) and the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) for failing to address the situation in the respective areas.

"Sewerage has entered people's water tanks, there is sewerage on the roads. For three to four days we have been trying to contact CBC, DHA [...] we tried our best to get them to speed up rescue work.

A photo posted by Instagram (@instagram) on

"But even after three to four days, they have not been able to carry this out. Look at any commercial area, it looks like a river."

He added that the residents of DHA were facing losses worth millions and had been abandoned without help. He urged the prime minister and the president to conduct an audit of CBC and DHA.

Speaking to the media, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that currently a small amount of water was present in Yousuf Goth, Kharadar and some areas of Defence.

"We are helping the CBC in draining the rainwater," he said. Shah also lamented the "torture" inflicted on the city by converting residential areas to commercial areas.

Meanwhile, Sindh government spokesperson Barrister Murtaza Wahab shared videos on Twitter of the provincial authorities trying to clear water in areas of Defence.

Further, Karachi Electric (KE) said that two feeders in DHA's Phase 4 and Muslim Commercial had been powered up. "Clifton Block 7 and two of the three feeders in Bath Island have also been energised", the power utility said in a tweet.

The company added that it was unable to energise five feeders in DHA due to extreme water-logging around substations and inside residential buildings. "These feeders serve Bukhari Commercial Area, Ittehad Commercial Area, Khayaban-e-Shahbaz and parts of 26th street."

Post de-watering, we will be able to restore power to all DHA areas within the next six to 12 hours, KE added.

Earlier in the day, KE had said that it continued to "face challenges with around 15 feeders located in areas of DHA Phase 8", adding that some residents in the area had also requested the power utility to not restore power supply since it may be a safety hazard amid accumulated rainwater.

Citizens to protest against against CBC, DHA

Meanwhile, residents of the locality have announced a protest against the CBC) and DHA management on Monday. "We will be demanding adequate drainage system, accountability and audit of tax collected by CBC, among other things," one resident said.

A number of organisations have also put forward demands, under the slogan 'Accountability for Karachi', asking municipal authorities to clear the city's nullahs as well as calling for the restoration of internet and mobile phone services and provision of immediate shelter and aid to those most affected.

These organisations include Aurat March, Climate Action Karachi, Climate Action Pakistan, Karachi Urban Lab, Karachi Bachao Tehreek and others.

They also demanded the government take immediate steps to mitigate the risk of electrocution and take steps to deal with stray electrical wires across the city.

Sindh CM visits KE office

A day earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah visited the K-Electric (KE) head office to take the company to task over continued power outages in numerous areas of Karachi despite the passage of nearly two days since torrential rains lashed the city.

At the KE office, Chief Minister Shah was given a briefing on the power supply situation by KE Chief Executive Officer Moonis Alvi.

"What kind of service is this that power remains absent for 30-35 hours?" Shah was quoted as saying in a statement by his office.

Noting that electricity had yet to be restored in DHA, Clifton and many other areas, the chief minister expressed the fear that citizens could "create a law and order situation" out of frustration. He said people were already protesting against the outages.

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