RAWALPINDI: Another thoroughly soaked week is expected in Islamabad and Rawalpindi from Saturday till Tuesday with monsoon currents continuously penetrating through upper parts of the country.

According to the Met Office, heavy rains will likely generate more urban flooding in the twin cities.

While chairing a meeting to review arrangements, Commissioner Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah said a rain emergency had been declared and all departments concerned are on high alert.

The meeting was attended by Additional Commissioner (Coordination) Arif Umer Aziz, Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) Managing Director Raja Shaukat Mehmood, Rawalpindi Waste Management Company Managing Director Awais Manzoor Tarar and other officials concerned.

Heavy falls may also trigger landslides in vulnerable areas of Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the period.

The commissioner said timely dredging of Leh Nullah and tributaries led rain water to pass efficiently through it on July 28. Likewise, gauges at Kattarian and Gawalmandi did not go above the danger point, he said, adding preparatory actions have already been taken including inspection of Flood Protection Bunds, de-silting of nullahs and water channels, removal of encroachments, inspection of dangerous buildings, mock exercises and checking functionality of flood fighting equipment.

He added that all administrative officials will remain in the field and monitor these activities on the ground. There should not be any urban flooding, he said, adding it is true that no one has control over natural calamities nevertheless early measures can reduce the damage to some extent.

The commissioner directed the Provisional Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) to keep its alert system updated and keep people informed about the situation in a timely manner. “The machinery of Wasa should also keep roads and streets clear so that the accumulation of water does not affect routine of life,” he said.

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2021

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