• 58.2mm rainfall in Surjani Town
• Muttahida, PTI lash out at civic bodies
• Mayor claims all points choked up with garbage ‘cleared’
• Light to moderate rains forecast today

KARACHI: Although light to moderate rain after a dust storm in the metropolis brought much-needed relief for citizens experiencing stifling heat for weeks, three people also lost their lives in rain-related incidents on Tuesday.

Amid prolonged power outages, the moderate to light rain inundated many roads which resulted in overflowing of drains and traffic jams on key arteries.

Three deaths were reported from Surjani Town, which received the highest amount of rainfall — 58.2mm.

The opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan described the incidents as the ‘failure’ of the city administration to complete the de-silting of storm-water drains, which are said to be the main cause of the accumulation of rainwater on roads and in low-lying areas.

Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab, however, said that he himself had visited several parts of the city during the rain to monitor the situation of storm-water drains.

“We have cleared all choking points. We are putting our best so the people can avoid any nuisance during this monsoon season,” he added.

The power supply was also disrupted in many parts of the city after the dust storm hit the metropolis in the afternoon.

However, K-Electric claimed that the power supply to the city “remained stable on Tuesday during the first scattered showers of the monsoon spell”.

According to the Met Office, the city weather will remain hot and humid on Wednesday (today) with drizzle/light rain expected in some areas in the evening/night.

MQM-P, PTI lambast city govt for ‘failure’ to clear drains

The MQM-P says in a statement that the beginning of the monsoon season has “exposed the failure” of the city government and washed away “all claims of the PPP mayor”.

“The people are stranded on flooded roads,” an MQM-P spokesman said in the statement. “Those who have been elected by the people of Karachi are nowhere to be found, leaving their voters helpless. The key road links are flooded. The streets and residential areas have turned into sewage pounds.

“The road travel which takes a few minutes has turned into hours-long journey due to traffic after rains as all major routes are submerged by rainwater. From top to bottom, the PPP enjoys every administrative position of this city, but it has failed again to deliver.”

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) came up with no different reaction.

The party’s additional general secretary Rizwan Niazi warned of the “imminent threat of urban flooding in Karachi due to clogged drainage system”.

“Despite the onset of the monsoon season and forecasts of heavy rains by the Met Office, Karachi’s three major drains —Gujjar Nala, Korangi Nala, and Mehmoodabad Nala — along with over 500 small drains, remain filled with garbage and have not been cleaned,” he said while talking to media at party office called Insaf House.

Mayor visits city areas

Meanwhile, Karachi Mayor Barrister Murtaza Wahab took a round of the city while claiming to have made all arrangements to handle the situation during and after the rains.

The mayor asked his team to be on the ground during the downpour with all available resources.

“We are constantly monitoring the situation of storm-water drains,” a statement issued by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation quoted the mayor as saying. “I am visiting different parts of the city to monitor these drains. We are putting our best so the people can avoid any nuisance during this monsoon season.”

The mayor visited II Chundrigarh Road, Shaheen Complex, old city areas, Mai Kolachi Road and different neighbourhoods.

Murad calls for coordination

Meanwhile, the Sindh chief minister has also called for strong coordination among all municipal organisations, an effective drainage system and special attention from relevant authorities to ensure traffic movement in areas where development work is underway.

“I realise that the people travelling on University Road are facing serious challenges due to development work of Red Line project,” a statement issued by CM House quoted Syed Murad Ali Shah as saying.

The traffic authorities must pay attention to the areas where development work is underway to keep the traffic flow smooth during rains, he added.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2024

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