KARACHI: In a bid to avoid flooding after rains in Karachi, authorities are toying with an idea to build underground rainwater storage facilities in the city as one of several other proposals to prevent the metropolis from witnessing the crisis after every heavy downpour, it emerged on Monday.

The consultative process for addressing the problem of flooding due to rains in the city was initiated and a meeting of all stakeholders in this connection was held here in Karachi to find out a solution on permanent basis, said a Sindh Flood Emergency Rehabilitation Project (SFERP) statement.

“The rainwater causes urban flooding, creating problems including health, drainage and loss of property besides creating traffic issues in the city,” it said.

“The meeting discussed the idea of flood water to be reused for non-potable purposes such as gardening and firefighting by constructing underground storage water tanks, which will also help in prevention of urban flooding in Karachi.”

“Discussion regarding use of storm water for recharging the ground water/water table was also focused. It was also highlighted by the participants that ground water depletion has become a major issue and some areas of Karachi do not have sweet water due to ground water depletion,” it said.

The project implementation unit of SFERP, the statement added, intended to hire a consultancy firm to conduct a feasibility study for the underground storm water storage facilities aimed at flood prevention within the Karachi Division.

“The firm so engaged will be tasked to identify locations where inundation events have occurred in the recent past and propose construction of underground storm water storage tanks,” it added.

Special Secretary-Planning Zubair Channa told Dawn that there were enough open places in the city where wells could be made to store rain water.

He said two or three places in district Central were earlier used for storing rain water some 20 years ago. “These facilities still exist, but are not being used,” he said, adding that a study would be conducted to use these facilities to prevent urban flooding.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2024

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