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16 points along Nullah Leh declared vulnerable

RAWALPINDI: The district administration has declared 15 points along Nullah Leh as vulnerable to flooding in the coming monsoon season and decided to establish a district emergency operation centre on July 1 to tackle any emergency situation.

Deputy Commissioner Dr Hassan Waqar Cheema has sent a letter to Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA), Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa), District Education Authority, Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC), the city police oOfficer, chief traffic officer, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGPL), Rawalpindi Waste Management Company (RWMC), Iesco, Civil Defence, Forest Department and Punjab Highway Department to provide staff for deployment at the emergency operation centre.

A senior official told Dawn that three employees from each of the departments will be deployed at the operation centre at the deputy commissioner office while two employees each will be deployed at 15 vulnerable points along Nullah Leh.

The vulnerable points along Leh Nullah are: Gawalmandi Bridge, Katarian Bridge, Ziaul Haq Colony, Dhoke Ratta, Bangash Colony, Boring Road Pirwadhai, Dhoke Elahi Bux, Dhoke Dalal, Tahli Mori, Tench Bhatta, Banaras Colony, Dhoke Hassu and Sadiqabad.

The district administration took this action on the directives of Provincial Disaster Management Authority and the Punjab government. It also imposed Section 144 along Nullah Leh to stop people from dumping solid waste and construction material in and along the nullah.

Wasa has started cleaning Nullah Lehat a cost of Rs30 million along with trunk sewer desilting in the downtown. The Punjab government had released the funds in March and the work started in May.

The last flood that the Nullah Lehwitnessed was on July 23, 2001. Just a few hours of 620mm rain resulted in the worst flood in the city’s history. Thirty-five people lost their lives while many slums were swept away.

If heavy rains occurr in the twin cities, the nullah water level would rise to 18 feet, the dangerous level. Nullah Leh was full of hundreds of thousands of polythene bags that adversely affected the water flow.

It has a length of about 30km, stretching from Islamabad to Rawalpindi. As many as 11 nullahs in the city also discharged into Leh at different areas. Nullah Leh discharges into Soan River near Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2023

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