Traffic mess, power outages revisit city after downpour

our correspondents
Thursday, Aug 11, 2022

People of Karachi once again suffered traffic jams and power cuts on Wednesday as medium and heavy rains lashed various areas of the city in the afternoon.

According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), the maximum rainfall of 51 millimetres (mm) was recorded at the Pakistan Air Force Faisal Base. It rained around 45mm in Quaidabad and 35mm at the Jinnah International Airport.

The rainfall recorded in North Karachi, Saddar and DHA Phase II was 25mm, 33mm and 33.9mm respectively. In Nazimabad, the rainfall was recorded at 24.4mm, whereas, it rained 19.5mm in Orangi Town.

Residents of Karachi should brace for more rain as the Met Office has forecast heavy showers in the port city till August 14 under the fourth monsoon spell of the current year. PMD Chief Meteorologist Sardar Sarfraz said the city’s weather would remain humid during daytime and there would be rain in the night hours from August 11 (today) till August 13.

After the rain on Wednesday, several areas such as Jauhar Chowrangi, Nipa, Safari Park, Safoora Chowrangi, Qayyumabad Chowrangi, 4K Chowrangi, Nagan Chowrangi, Shafiq Mor, Shadman Town and Gulshan-e-Iqbal 13-D were inundated with rainwater and sewage.

Rainwater accumulated on Drigh Road and near the airport snarled up the traffic for hours. At Tower and II Chundrigar Road, rainwater mixed with sewage slowed the traffic movement for hours, especially during the peak hours.

The entire Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Phase IV and its main commercial area was flooded with rainwater. Water also accumulated on DHA’s 26 Street opposite Badar Commercial where development work is under way. It took hours for the rainwater to drain from the area.

Karachi Metropolitan Corporation Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab visited different areas of the city after the downpour. He paid a visit to Burnes Road, Soldier Bazaar, Saddar, MA Jinnah Road, Haqqani Chowk and II Chundrigar Road. Talking to the media, he said the storm drains in the city were flowing properly and despite the heavy rainfall, the major thoroughfares could be used for commute.

He said drainage work was being carried out in areas where rainwater had accumulated. He added that low-lying areas would be cleared in a while. According to a statement issued by the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB), its staff was present on roads to clear them of rainwater. The SSWMB also imposed an emergency to deal with any rain-related issues.

Multiple areas of the city witnessed prolonged power outages after the rainfall. Malir, Shah Faisal Colony, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, FB Area, Liaquatabad, PIB Colony, Gulshan-e-Maymar, Korangi and Saddar were reported to be without power as the rain started.

KE Statement

The K-Electric (KE) issued a statement in which it claimed to have ensured power supply to the city after sporadic bursts of heavy rain and strong winds started.

During the current spell, approximately 250 of more than 1,900 feeders within the KE network were affected, the KE said, adding that a majority of these feeders were temporarily shut down as a precautionary measure in areas where prevalence of Kundas or standing water could pose a safety hazard. “These areas were also immediately restored upon receiving clearance from ground teams,” the statement read.

In view of the forecast of more rain in the city, the KE advised the citizens to continue observing precautionary measures, maintain a safe distance from all electricity infrastructure and avoid using electrical appliances exposed to rain such as water motors.

“Our social media platforms and KE Live App are the fastest way for customers to stay connected for guidance and updates,” the KE said, adding that it was available round the clock for any queries or complaints.

CM monitors drainage

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon has said that Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had been personally monitoring the water drainage work in the city after rain on Wednesday under the fourth monsoon spell.

The information minister stated while visiting different areas of the city to supervise the water drainage work. He was accompanied by Sindh Excise and Taxation Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla, Special Assistant to CM Qasim Naveed, Deputy Commissioner South, and officials of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) and other civic agencies.

Memon asked the officials concerned to ensure speedy drainage of rainwater to clear main roads and low-lying areas in the city, adding that the latest spell of rain was brief but heavy. Underpasses in the city had remained clear of inundation.

He said the officials of district administration, municipal and civic agencies, and the KWSB were present on the roads for the drainage work. He said police and traffic police had been asked to assist people facing the aftermath of rain.

The minister said the members of the Sindh cabinet were also present on the roads to supervise the emergency relief and drainage activities. The provincial ministers visited Submarine Chowrangi, Merewether Tower, KPT Underpass, II Chundrigar Road, Sindh Assembly, Sindh Secretariat, and Sharea Faisal.

In a separate statement, the chief minister asked the district administration, police, and civic and municipal agencies to take care of people during monsoon rains. He asked the relevant municipal agencies and the KWSB to ensure immediate drainage of accumulated rainwater.