Mayor says efforts to drain rainwater under way as Karachi receives showers

Published April 14, 2024
Officials stand on alert amid rainfall in Karachi. — Photo via author
Officials stand on alert amid rainfall in Karachi. — Photo via author

Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab said on Sunday that efforts were under way to drain rainwater from the main arteries after rainfall hit parts of the metropolis.

According to the met office, Surjani Town received the most rain (29mm), followed by Nazimabad (21.2mm) and Gulshan-i-Hadeed (20mm).

Rainfall was also recorded in PAF Faisal Base (19mm), Kemari (19mm), PAF Mansoor Base (18mm), Korangi (17mm), Met Office University road (15.7mm), Airport Old area (15.1mm), North Karachi (15mm), Saadi Town (15mm), Orangi Town (14.4mm), Saddar (13mm) and Malir (12mm).

Jinnah Terminal (1.2mm), Quaidabad (5mm) and Defence Phase II (5.5mm) received light showers whereas areas such as Gaddap, and Gulshan-i-Maymar received no rain.

In a post on X, Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab said, “The staff is busy clearing rainwater from [areas] where it has collected.”

The mayor said he visited various areas of Karachi, including Naagin Chowrangi and KDA Chowrangi, where he appreciated the teams working to deal with the rain situation.

“The rain is continuing for the past three hours and the main arteries are clear,” he claimed.

In another post, Wahab said that all staff of the KMC, Karachi Water and Sewerage Corporation, and Sindh Solid Waste Management Board were present on the ground to tackle the rain situation.

“For the first time, vehicles with suction, jetting and pumping features have also been deputed on major arteries to deal with the situation,” he added.

He later said that water accumulated on the Korangi side of Qayyumabad Roundabout was being drained.

According to a weather forecast issued today, the PMD said “intermittent rain/thunderstorms of moderate intensity with isolated heavy falls” were expected today in Karachi.

While the city was to see “mostly cloudy” weather tomorrow (Monday), it would turn “hot and humid” on Tuesday.

The maximum temperature was predicted to stay between 27-29 degrees Celsius while the minimum was forecast at 25.1 degrees Celsius. Humidity in the morning was to remain at 80 per cent while in the evening, it would drop to 55-65pc.

Earlier, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) had forecast “dust-thunderstorm and rain of moderate intensity with isolated heavy falls” from Saturday to Sunday in Karachi and other divisions of Sindh — including Jamshoro, Dadu, Shaheed Benazirabad, Qambar-Shahdadkot, Larkana, Shikarpur, Sukkur, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Ghotki, Naushahro Feroze, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Matiari, Umerkot, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allahyar, Sujawal, Sanghar and Badin.

A day ago, in view of the recent forecast of heavy rains in the city, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had directed the civic agencies, including the KMC, to be on ‘red alert’.

The chief minister had ordered that water boards should complete all arrangements in their respective areas and asked the civic agencies to keep storm-water drains and drainage systems clean. Meanwhile, the city administration had directed all civic agencies and utilities to declare an emergency in their respective departments and ensure all necessary measures to provide relief to people in view of the rain forecast.

Downpours were lashing Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the past few days, with lightning strikes and rain-related incidents leaving 24 people dead and injuring several others.

5 killed in road accident on M9 Motorway

Separately, five people were killed on Sunday while 20 others, including women and children, were injured when a passenger coach slipped and overturned on the M6 Motorway due to rain, police, officials said.

The passenger coach was on its way from Karachi to Larkana when the bus slipped and fell from the highway near Nooriabad, they said. SSP Jamshoro Tariq Nawaz said that one man died on the spot while 20 passengers were injured.

Police surgeon Summaiya Syed said that two children and one adult male were brought dead at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Hospital. An Edhi spokesperson later said that two more people had died in the incident.

The Edhi Foundation spokesperson and Gadap City police SHO Majid Alvi attributed the accident to rain.

Efforts to drain rainwater

Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Asif Hyder Shah ordered all commissioners and deputy commissioners to ensure the drainage of rainwater from Karachi’s main roads and low-lying areas.

 Officials stand on alert amid rainfall in Karachi. — Photo via author
Officials stand on alert amid rainfall in Karachi. — Photo via author

He further directed that the KWSB, K-Electric, Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) and all cantonments be ready for any emergencies, as well as ordered de-watering tanker pumps to be placed at the main arteries of the city.

According to Water Corporation Chief Operating Officer (COO) Engineer Asadullah Khan, various sections of Karachi’s important roads were equipped with machinery on special directives of the Sindh CM, chief secretary and the mayor.

He said that the machinery, including section machines and de-watering pumps, was put on high alert at Metro Pole Hotel, CM House, Governor House, Muslim Gymkhana, Mereweather Tower, Bilawal Chowrangi, Jinnah Airport, Arts Council Chowrangi, PC Hotel, and 26th Street.

Section machines were also on high alert at Jinnah Hospital, Nursery, Gora Qabristan, Baloch Colony, FTC Flyover, University Road, Shahrah-e-Quaideen and MA Jinnah Road.

Asadullah further stated that the executive engineer of Workshop Dwari and relevant executive engineers would supervise all vehicles while the Water Corporation’s vehicles and staff would remain present on the streets until all rainwater had been drained.

SCBA establishes rain emergency centre

Separately, a rain emergency centre was established at the Sindh Building Control Authority (SCBA), which would be headed by SCBA Director General (demolition) Abdul Sajjad Khan.

In a statement, SCBA Director General Abdul Rasheed Solangi said the cell would work round the clock and that staff leaves had been suspended. Stating that its staff would remain on “high alert”, the official said occupants of dilapidated and dangerous buildings had been told to evacuate the premises.

In this regard, all directors attended the office and took necessary actions in coordination with the SCBA’s demolition section. Teams carrying panaflex/sign boards for public awareness were dispatched early in the morning to make public announcements for evacuation from dangerous buildings, particularly in old city areas.

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