14 people have so far been killed in rain-related incidents
The monsoon season always brings several problems for the people of Karachi. But the failure of the Sindh government to issue Rs767 million to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation seems to have multiplied these woes.
There was no respite for Karachiites from monsoon suffering as the first rainy spell began Monday. The downpour triggered urban flooding with more than a dozen people electrocuted to death.
Most main arteries of the metropolis were flooded because of the dilapidated sewerage system, no clearance of 29 main storm water drains and illegal construction of houses on Karachi Water and Sewerage Board’s main trunk lines and on the sides of storm water drains.
As soon as the rain started Monday afternoon, the main arteries, including University Road, Shahrae Faisal, Shahrae Pakistan, Sharae Quaideen, Sharae Liaquat, I I Chandigarh Road, Mai Kolachi Road, Club Road, MA Jinnah Road and others were inundated.
The Sindh government departments and KMC failed to cope with the situation, resulting in multiplying the woes of the people.
Mayor Wasim Akhtar imposed a rain emergency in the city, while Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani visited many rain-affected areas to oversee the relief work being carried out by the district municipal corporations.
Ghani visited the East, Central, South and Korangi districts, but failed to pay a visit to the West and Malir districts.
He said the cleaning of storm water drains and pumping rainwater off the roads and streets was the prime responsibility of KMC and district municipal corporations.
“The Sindh government is here to assist the municipal corporations in their rain-related relief works. The government provided KMC with Rs500 million for cleaning the storm water drains,” Ghani said.
He said the mayor should focus on working for the relief of the masses, instead of making statements and painting himself as “powerless”.
Mayor Akhtar, along with Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, visited the Gujjar Nullah and other areas in District Central to review drainage of rainwater.
He said the Sindh government had completely failed to deliver to the people of Karachi. Akhtar said that the provincial government was not releasing the funds for cleaning the storm water drains, despite being sent several letters.
“The metropolitan commissioner, at the beginning of the month, wrote separate letters to the local government and finance secretaries demanding the release of Rs767.58 million for cleaning of storm water drains,” he said. “But the authorities neither replied, nor released the funds demanded by the KMC.”
The mayor said: “The Sindh government was to release a total Rs1267 million for cleaning of storm water drains during the period of 2017-18 and 2018-19. But it released only Rs500 million last year for this purpose.”
He clarified that the process of cleaning storm water drains could not be completed before the start of the monsoon season due to the non-availability of funds.
Akhtar said he had written letters to Prime Minister Imran Khan and Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi to intervene in Karachi’s affairs for the larger interest of the economic hub of the country.