KARACHI, July 31: The posh and well-planned areas of Clifton and Defence Housing Authority (DHA) were as badly affected by rains as rest of the city.
The intermittent rains on Sunday and Monday exposed the poor state of affairs in the ‘better part’ of the city, and laid low the claims of better management by the Defence Authority and Clifton Cantonment Board.
Many residents chose to take the day off from business or work. Those who did venture out had to face a treacherous journey through water-logged roads while evading collapsed stormwater drains and gutters and praying that their vehicle did not break down mid voyage.
Adeel, a resident of Phase-4, said his car broke down when he was returning home after late night duty, early in the morning on Commercial Avenue as the water had come up to knee deep level.
He said when he left again for work late in the afternoon, the water level had increased and only three or four sanitation workers were employed in ‘mopping up’ the gallons of water which had transformed the avenue into a stream.
The exercise obviously had little impact as water level had become one with the adjoining nullah in several places, making it extremely hazardous for pedestrians and motorists alike.
Meanwhile, traffic in other areas did not fare any better. On main Khayaban-i-Jami, cars proceeded to move at a snail’s pace primarily due to clogged intersections.
Traffic was also witnessed moving in both directions on either avenues of Khaliq-uz-Zaman road.
Umair, a commuter in the area, pointed out that this was due to the level of water standing near signals, especially around submarine roundabout.
According to him, rubbish and refuse were also evident in piles on the roadside and was seen floating around in water. This is likely to cause health hazards in the coming days.
But the major site of flooding proved to be the area around Schon Circle and between Tin and Dau Talwar.
According to a number of commuters and residents, Khyaban-i-Iqbal was totally water logged which led to a closure of most businesses and shopping arcades in the area.
Cars could be seen floating along on the avenue and the closure led to a severe traffic jam on the detours, primarily Khyaban-i-Jami and Chaudhry Khaliq-uz-Zaman Road.
The piece de resistance, however, was the KPT underpass which had been touted as designed to deal with all weather conditions.
In the recent weeks, critics had pointed out measures should be taken to ensure proper drainage in the underpass and surrounding areas, but this was dismissed as unnecessary.
The monsoon, however, literally drowned these assertions in 20 feet of water which currently fills what is now the KPT Clifton water tank.
Fawad, a resident of Bath Island, had to take a massive detour due to the flooded road, and angrily asks for explanation as to why such a prestigious project was completed without taking into account the drainage factor.
Other roads which also submerged in large parts due to water logging and clogged drainage include Khyaban-i-Bahria, Khyaban-i-Mujahid, Gizri Boulevard, Zamzama Boulevard and Khyaban-i-Shamsheer.
The areas adjoining them were also affected as most of the water flowed into the smaller streets and service lanes, leaving many residents with no choice but to stay at home.
Almost all residents and commuters, interviewed by Dawn complained about the lack of emergency on the part of the DHA and the cantonment board.
No pumping or suction pumps were employed anywhere except the KPT underpass, and that exercise was conducted by the Fire Brigade.
The overall dismal situation in the area led many to question as to how the local authority can claim to be better managed and organized than in other parts of the city when at the time of need, they were all missing.