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Will Karachi’s two new underpasses survive the rainy season?

November 26, 2019
Will Karachi’s two new underpasses survive the rainy season?

A beautiful view of the Shaheed-e-Millat underpass. It will open for traffic soon. Photo: Online

Karachi is getting two new under passes within 10 days.

The two underpasses –  a 500-meter one on the Tariq Road intersection and a 600-meter one near Hill Park –  are complete. They are being given final touches and are likely to be opened for public by the first week of December.

Karachi Development Package Special Secretary Muhammad Taha Siddiqui confirmed that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah will inaugurate the underpasses in the first week of December.

“We have informed the Sindh chief minister that the underpasses are ready to open. He will give us a schedule for the inauguration, which is likely to be in the first week of December,” he told SAMAA Digital.

Karachi will have 14 underpasses with the inauguration of these two new ones.

Work on both started in January, 2018. The deadline for completion was May, 2018. They were completed after a delay of 19 months

The estimated cost of completion was Rs1 billion.

Former Karachi Development Package special secretary Niaz Soomro, who recently retired from the post, said that the torrential rains in Karachi caused the delay.

He said construction works stops during the rain at underpasses as compared to flyovers because of the accumulation of water.

In Karachi, it is a common sight to see underpasses get inundated during the rainy season.

Soomro says there is a “sump” (water reservoir tank) beneath every underpass with a proper sewerage system. He said rainwater accumulates in that sump some 20-feet below ground and is transported to a nearby pumping station underground with the help of a proper electric mechanism.

He said this happens because of negligence of the authorities concerned as the electric system to transport water collapses when it rains.

Soomro claims water won’t accumulate in these new underpasses as the sump with a depth of 20-feet has been constructed beneath them with a proper electric system.

A sewerage expert, Javed Iqbal, of Techno Consultant told SAMAA Digital that the measurement of a sump does not matter, but a proper electric system is imperative.

“A sump with a depth 10-15 feet is also acceptable, but timely transportation of rain water is necessary,” he explained.

The service lanes need immediate repair and maintenance on the Shaheed-e-Millat Road.

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Shaheed-e-Millat Road, underpass, Karachi, Karachi Development Package
 
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