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Monsoon rain hits drainage, traffic in Karachi

September 05, 2012

KARACHI, Sept 5: The first spell of the year’s monsoon in the city on Wednesday mainly hit the drainage and traffic with complaints of power outages in different parts of Karachi, as the Met Office warned that the trend could continue for three more days.

Though the number of fatal incidents, including electrocution and road traffic accidents, remained lower than past years’ trend during monsoon, motorists emerged as the worst-hit by the rain that began in the first half of the day in east district.

Though a large number of major roads escaped flooding, traffic remained clogged for hours at many places. However, residents of the city’s low-lying areas underwent the usual rain-related ordeal. A few of them told Dawn that water had entered their houses and was ruining their household appliances and furniture.

Though traffic moved at a snail’s pace on major roads, including Shahra-i-Pakistan, Shaheed-i-Millat Road and University Road, the situation was the worst on Sharea Faisal, where hundreds of vehicles remained stuck in traffic for hours mainly on the key artery’s track leading from the Metropole Hotel to the airport.

“It’s nothing to do with traffic management or mismanagement,” traffic DIG Khurram Gulzar told Dawn when asked about the reasons behind the mess. “It’s because of a drainage problem. Key spots along Sharea Faisal, including the FTC building, Nursery, Baloch Colony, Karsaz, PAF base and Drigh Road, had severe drainage problems which, on the one hand, slowed down traffic and, on the other, caused vehicles’ malfunctioning, adding to traffic woes.”

Traffic flow began improving after sunset and within the next couple hours it was back to normal, added the traffic DIG.

In Hijrat Colony, a 20-year-old girl died form electrocution in her home. The family of the deceased Tasneem Bibi disallowed medico-legal formalities of the body at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. An official of the Chhipa Welfare Trust, which retrieved the body and transported it to the JPMC, confirmed the victim had died from electrocution in her home.

The city’s municipal administration and the Karachi Electric Supply Company claimed to have controlled the situation, which has a history of below-par performance in monsoons.“On Wednesday the highest rainfall was recorded in the Sharea Faisal area with 35 millimetres (1.37 inches),” said Tauseef Alam, the chief meteorologist. “Other areas followed with University Road 30.6mm (1.20 in), Landhi and North Karachi 26.7mm (1.05 in) each, the areas around Pehlawan Goth 26mm ((1.02 in) North Nazimabad 21mm (0.8 in), PAF Masroor base 17mm (0.6 in) and our observatory at the airport recorded 9.4mm (0.3 in) rainfall.”

Rain was likely to continue overnight with gaps of a few hours and might continue till Sunday morning, he said. All institutions of rain administration, such as the KESC, municipal services and traffic management, were being given weather updates, he said.

“Tuesday’s well-marked low-pressure area is located over Madhya Pradesh (India) and the adjoining areas. This low pressure is likely to move towards Pakistan and under the influence of this weather system strong monsoon rains are expected mainly in the southeast areas of Sindh for two to three more days,” added the chief meteorologist.