Pathetic rain steps make people physically, mentally, and financially injured
People in Karachi’s Central and Western districts lost millions of rupees when it rained for an hour Monday to damage their property. In addition to causing financial losses, the sad actions of the rain by the authorities made them hurt both physically and psychologically, while Sindh and the local government continued to blame each other.
Rain was reported in Orangi City, Pathan Colony, Banaras, Sakhi Hassan, Five Star Chowrangi, Nazimabad, Gulberg, Ayesha Manzil, Buffer Zone, Chowrangi Powerhouse, Gulshan and Gulistan-e-Jauhar. Nazimabad recorded the highest rainfall at 34mm.
The main reason for the destruction in the two districts was the encroachment of minor and major rainwater channels in their respective regions. Interestingly, both the elected chairmen of the Central and West district (DMC) city enterprises belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi (MQM) Movement.
Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) is responsible for 48 major storm drains, while 500 small drains fall under the sixth scope of the DMC. But the elected council of KMC and DMC always complained about the lack of funds to clean this channel.
It was only on July 2 that the KMC and DMC began cleaning up the urban nullahs – after holding several press conferences against the provincial government and asking for funds.
The entire Central District sank after the overflow of Gujjar Nullah, the largest rainwater channel in the city starting from New Karachi and ending at the Chona Depot in the Hajj Mureed Goth, where it fell into the Lyari River.
The water channel crosses Rashid Minhas Road in Shafiq Morr and goes to Café Piyala Hotel and continues to Ziauddin Hospital and Liaquatabad before falling into the river. In October 2018, the long-awaited Gujjar Nullah rehabilitation project was restarted at a cost of Rs 12.5 billion. The project includes the removal of 30,000 residents and the construction of a 24-foot wide service road on both sides of the canal.
The Sindh government led by the Pakistan People’s Party and the local government led by MQM in Karachi have been interested in starting a project that began in 2007. But the project has never really seen the light of day.
Water and sewage that flooded the main arteries in the Central and West districts had receded on Monday night, leaving behind huge mud swamps and monetary losses for the population. Water cannot be drained from many other areas as well.
In the City of Orangi, several rainwater channels overflowed again on Tuesday. In Chishti Nagar, District West rain water cannot be drained from home. The rainwater that accumulates in Landi Kotal Chowrangi, Bintang Lima, Sakhi Hassan and KDA Chowrangi has not been cleansed until nightfall.
Due to the collapse of the Nullah wall, houses and shops in the Kashmir Colony in the Central District, Pak Colony, and the Waheedabad region continued to flood. Water from shops and houses in Liaquatabad cannot be drained after Gujjar Nullah overflowed in the neighborhood.
Rain water flows in through the three gates of Saifee Hospital at Five Star Chowrangi, leaving no way for patients or ambulances to enter the facility. While there was no Central DMC machine in sight, residents were seen drying their own mud puddles.
The road is still under water in Gulberg’s Peoples Chowrangi, with the nullahs constantly overflowing. Small storm drains in the median Peoples Chowrangi and Gulberg Town bring water to the crowded Gujjar Nullah.
Residents of the Orangi City 11½ Sector also continue to deal with the effects of Monday’s rain. The entire area is covered with muddy swamps and rubbish carried by overflowing waterways.
A local woman remembers how all their electrical equipment stopped working after water flooded their home. “It’s up to us,” he said, adding that he and his children were stranded in their home and had to be rescued through the window.
Another resident said that a storm channel that was only five feet high was built in the area, which was followed by local residents who began to face problems. “Dirt and rubbish are everywhere after low tide.”
All shops in Golimar face millions of rupees. A car shop owner near Golimar, Asad Saleem, said they could not run their business on Tuesday. “When we arrived at our shops in the morning, we found that the water had dried up, but five or six inches of mud had blocked our shop windows.”
He said that such a situation requires a tractor or engine to drain the puddle, which cannot be regulated because the entire Central District faces the same problem. A furniture market shopkeeper in Liaquatabad shared how they didn’t even get a chance to move their furniture to a safe place after rain began to flood the area on Monday night.
He said that on Tuesday, when they opened their shop, all of their furniture worth millions of rupees was destroyed. “Who is responsible for this?” he asked, lamenting that they paid their taxes to the government and got this in return.
Several cars and motorbikes were also destroyed in the Central District, and mechanics were not available to repair the broken vehicles. A Federal C Area resident said his car was completely submerged, adding that he could not find a mechanic because they were trying to clean their shops.
In the midst of all this chaos, some areas of the city continue to face power cuts. Electricity supply to most areas in the Central and West districts that were flooded could not be restored.
Umair Alvi from FC Area shared how power in their area could not be restored even on Tuesday night because rain water could not be drained out of some areas. Meanwhile, K-Electric regretted in a press statement that during the rain they faced operational challenges due to more than 2,000 excessive or false emergency complaints, saying that the complaints resulted in the diversion of limited resources from other serious hazards and were a fundamental reason for widespread outages in some areas.