The heavy monsoon rain that lashes Lahore on Tuesday flooded the most parts of Lahore. The low laying areas and roads were literally converted into ponds. The 250 mm rain battered Lahore for well over 17 hours literally drowned every inch of the city. The heavy rain brought the life to a complete standstill. Most of Lahore plunged into darkness as the result of power outages. Millions were left without power and drinking water.
The water enters into houses and shops in some areas and caused damage. At least 113 people received injuries in 94 road accidents and one fire case. Four building collapsed in different parts of provincial capital.
The bikers were trapped in the accumulated water after the heavy rain. A number of bikes slipped which resulted into injuries to the bikers. Long queues of vehicles were witnessed on all major and minor roads as the City turned into a large pond. Wasa Managing Director Syed Zahid Aziz, Lahore Commissioner Asif Bilal, Deputy Commissioner Saleha Saeed and other district administration officials stayed in the field to clear the rain water. But heavy rain made it impossible to clear the rain water soon after the rain stopped. It took the district administration and WASA hours to clear the water. Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also visited some parts of city to see the situation.
All major roads, residential and commercial localities, graveyards, bus stands and public parks were under water. Wasa officials claimed 250mm rain was recorded in the city. Almost 300 Lesco feeders were tripped due to the continuous rain depriving more than 30 percent of the city population of electricity. Many of Wasa tube-wells did not function in the absence of electricity, adding to the problems of Laborites.
Residents of several localities, including Santnagar, Sandha, Ichhra, Samanabad and Pani Wala Talab, Badami Bagh, Misri Shah and Shad Bagh said there was no supply of drinking water in their localities since morning. Roads inundated in ankle-deep rainwater caused massive traffic jams at major crossings.
The rainwater accumulated on portions of a number of main roads as well as link and service roads due to which the residents suffered a lot. The rainwater accumulation seriously affected majority of graveyards, including Miani Sahib, Mian Mir Sahib, Township, Samsani (Johar Town), Township, Faisal Town adjacent to Kottha Pind and Pind Rajputan.
A visit to different localities showed that rainwater had gathered equally in both low-income Neighbourhood and posh localities, but WASA’s response towards different areas was discriminatory in nature. In posh areas, the agency had deployed water pumps to remove accumulated water, but an official could not be seen for miles in poorer neighbourhoods.
All the claims of preparedness of WASA and local authorities washed away by the first heavy rain of the current monsoon season. The existing sewerage and drainage system is not adequate to drain the rain water of heavy rain. The sewerage system needs improvement. The drainage naulas needs to be cleaned and encroachments be removed. Without improving the existing system and adding more capacity to drain water, the danger of urban flooding will remain real.
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18 August, 2019