Rain spells wreak havoc on Karachi's fragile sewerage system

Published August 1, 2022
<p>Traffic police place barricades around a sinkhole that developed in the PIB Colony area on Sunday.—PPI</p>

Traffic police place barricades around a sinkhole that developed in the PIB Colony area on Sunday.—PPI

KARACHI: The fragile sewerage system of almost the entire city seems to have collapsed following the recent spells of monsoon rains that submerged various roads and streets with rainwater and sewage.

The ponds and puddles of the rainwater mixed with sewage are polluting the environment in several localities, which have literally become breeding nurseries for mosquitoes and flies.

The worst affected are the areas in district South, the business district of the city, where two major sewerage lines have sunk, leading to a traffic mess at the PIDC intersection and the link roads, including those housing Governor House and Club Road.

A big sinkhole had developed in the middle of the PIDC House section of Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road last week when a 72-inch-diameter sewer caved in, leaving a 10-foot deep crater and causing overflowing of sewage all around.

Stagnant rainwater, sewage overflowing from choked gutters pollute environment

The same sewerage line had also sunk in 2007.

While the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board was still busy in fixing the main sewerage line, another 66-inch main sewerage line caved in near Shaheen Complex on Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road creating a wide crater that played havoc with commuters and passers-by.

Sources in the water utility attributed the development of sinkholes to overflowing gutters and choked sewerage lines and rainwater going into manholes.

The only possible way to drain out rainwater is to release the water into drains. Almost all major arteries and roads, besides streets and lanes in low-lying localities have been inundated.

A KWSB official, who did not wish to be named, said that the fragile sewerage system was badly affected during Eid days as not only mud and polythene bags, but a large quantity of offal and animal remains also made their way into the sewerage lines during the wet weather due to inefficiency of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board.

“Most of the main sewerage lines are choked and overflowing,” he added.

The rainwater mixed with overflowing sewage can be seen on portions of most of the roads in district South, including busy Shahrah-i-Iraq, M.A. Jinnah Road and I.I. Chundrigar Road.

The filthy sewage and rainwater have been causing hindrances in the smooth flow of vehicular traffic and inconvenience to pedestrians.

Ponds and puddles of filthy water in almost every locality of the city have created a stinking atmosphere and unhygienic conditions, exposing the residents of the affected localities to serious health hazards as reports from several areas suggested that filthy sewage has seeped into water supply pipelines.

People from different parts of the city called Dawn to inform that they had lodged several complaints with the water utility and other civic bodies about the choked and overflowing gutters, but to no avail as so far no effective measures had been taken to drain the filthy sewage from their respective localities.

A resident of Federal B Area said that the administration had miserably failed to clear rainwater from streets, lanes and open spaces in residential localities.

Another resident of Teen Hatti said that Jahangir Road had been submerged, completely destroyed and closed for commuters.

Similarly, residents of Korangi and Landhi said that several streets were completely unusable for the vehicular traffic due to stagnant water.

Situation in Malir, Model Colony, Moeenabad, Saudabad, Khokhrapar, Malir City, Shamsi Society, Shah Faisal Colony and Drigh Road was no different to other parts of the city.

Published in Dawn, August 1st, 2022

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