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Heavy rainfall expected in twin cities as monsoon sets in

Heavy rainfall expected in twin cities as monsoon sets in

RAWALPINDI: The twin cities on Wednesday received the second rain this monsoon season. The met department has said there will be more heavy rains in Rawalpindi, Gujranwala and Lahore and warned the local administration in Rawalpindi and the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) of floods in Leh Nullah.

However, the rain on Wednesday did not increase water in Rawal Dam as the catchment areas of the dam did not receive rain.

The met office recorded 39mm rain in Chaklala, 6mm in Shamsabad, 54mm in Saidpur, 32mm in Bokra and 28mm in Zero Point, Islamabad.

More rains are expected during the next 24 hours and relevant authorities in Rawalpindi and Islamabad have been asked to make necessary arrangements.

Taking notice of the heavy rains on Wednesday across the province, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif called a meeting of all concerned departments in the province through video link.

Wednesday’s rain did not help raise water in Rawal Dam as the dam’s catchment area did not receive any rainfall

Rawalpindi Mayor Sardar Naseem, Acting Commissioner Talat Mehmood Gondal, Wasa Managing Director Raja Shaukat Mehmood and other senior officials attended the meeting via video call from the commissioner’s office.

Mr Sharif asked the concerned authorities to make arrangements to avoid the loss of lives and property in areas near rivers and drains. He directed for necessary arrangements to be made after the prediction of heavy rains were made.

The chief minister said the government wanted to provide people across the province a safe and secure environment and that district administrations and civic bodies will work together to ensure this.

This was the second rain during the last three days in the twin cities and the rain also made making arrangements for Eid prayers in open grounds difficult, though it did bring about a pleasant change in the weather.

The rain also choked the sewerage system in the city and complaints started coming in that sanitary workers did not clear the drains before the start of monsoon.

Residents of Chaklala Scheme I complained that drains were choked and that rain water was not draining.

“The situation in Rawal Road, Dhoke Khaba is worsening and even a little rain becomes a problem here,” said Raja Mehmood, a resident of Sir Syed Chowk.

Mohammad Afzal who lives on Misrial Road said locals have been facing problems for five years as the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board does not clean drains routinely which makes it difficult for residents to come out of their homes when it rains.

A resident of Aliabad near Westridge III, Asghar Warraich said the RCB has failed in providing better civic facilities as it was focusing on Westridge and not its surrounding areas, where residents were facing problems with the sewerage system and the supply of clean drinking water.

Talking to Dawn, Wasa Managing Director Raja Shaukat Mehmood said it did not rain in the catchment areas of Rawal Dam and Leh Nullah.

“Water in Leh Nullah rose to six feet when the dangerous level starts at 24 feet. The rain water did not accumulate in the low lying areas because it washed away as soon as the rain stopped,” he said. He said it was expected that the rain will increase the water level in Rawal Dam, which was the main source for drinking water for Rawalpindi.

Mr Mehmood said Wasa had made all arrangements for tackling floods in the Leh Nullah and that water sucking machines and other machines had been transported to the low lying areas to drain water in case of an emergency.

The Leh Nullah was de-silted last month at the cost of Rs25 million and Wasa has removed all waste from the drain and transported it outside the city, he said.

Mr Mehmood added that the commissioner had banned the dumping of solid waste and construction material on the banks of the nullah to avoid the creation of obstacles for the flow of water in the drain.

Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2017

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