LAHORE: The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) on Sunday directed all deputy commissioners of the districts to take precautionary measures for protection of life and property of the citizens with the start of torrential rains in the province while the Lahore metropolitan administration imposed a temporary ban on underground digging for any type of construction, putting the civic agencies on alert.
The PDMA issued a warning about the urban flooding due to heavy rains in Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujranwala and Faisalabad divisions from July 12 to 14.
“Heavy rains may generate flash flooding and trigger landslides in vulnerable areas of Punjab from July 12 to 14,” it said.
The widespread rain system has entered the province and rainfall was reported on Sunday in many districts of the province including Sargodha, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Gujrat, Gujranwala and Narowal. Rain and thunderstorm occurred at scattered places in Kashmir, Rawalpindi, Mandi Bahauddin and Chakwal districts while at isolated places in Jhelum, Lahore, Sialkot and Kasur districts. Rawalpindi received 42mm rain, Mandi Bahauddin 14mm, Chakwal 10mm, Murree 8mm, Jhelum 5mm, Lahore 4mm and Sialkot and Kasur 1m each.
Rain forecast for most of Punjab till 14th; PDMA issues urban flooding warning
Earlier, the Met Office predicted thundershowers and strong winds in most of central and northern parts of the province from July 11 to 14 and southern parts from July 12 to 14.
A PDMA official said the alert was issued to the authorities to address the problems some cities might face due to torrential rains as the rains could damage the infrastructure.
Lahore Commissioner retired Capt Muhammad Usman told Dawn a marathon meeting to review the arrangements for torrential rains was held to ensure safety of public and private property of the citizens. He said the officials of the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa), Lahore Development Authority (LDA) and Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) attended the meeting. He said a temporary ban was imposed on all types of underground digging for construction or any other purposes in the city till the end of the monsoon.
“Water will accumulate in the pits dug for construction and it might prove dangerous.”
Mr Usman said a survey was also conducted to highlight dangerous public and private buildings and orders were issued to vacate these buildings prior to the start of the monsoon rains.
He added that Wasa and LWMC they had completed the process of removing all hurdles in the drains to ensure flow of the rainwater. He said 20 different points in the city were identified where the rainwater could accumulate and official teams were directed to remain alter for rainwater disposal from there.
The monsoon season in Pakistan that lasts generally from July to September would see an unexpected increase in the rainfall in the south and north Punjab and Sindh, the Met Office said and added that the likely rainfall during July and September would 140mm.
Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2021