Staff Report Tuesday, 9 Jul 2013 10:37 pm
The city continues its complex relationship with the Monsoon: on one hand, the rains bring relief from the hot, humid Lahori summer, on the other, it causes severe drainage problems and prolonged power outages
As the Monsoon reigns supreme, the heavy downpour in the city entered its third consecutive day on Tuesday, paralysing life by inundating low lying areas of the city and resulting in power outages of up to four hours.
It started around 10:30am, yielding 6mm of rainfall. The worst affected areas were the katchi abadis and areas such as Bilal Ganj, Sardar Chapel, Mohni Road, Kasur Pura, Karim Park , Mozang, Jain Mandir, Chauburgi, Samanabad, Yateem Khana, Shad Bagh, Chowk Nakhuda, Misri Shah, Chah Miran, Neelam Cinema, Makhan Pura, Amir Road, Bhambhey Jhugian, Kot Khawaja Saeed, Sidiquia Colony, GT Road, Sheranwala, Habib Ganj, Usman Ganj, Loha Market, Badami Bagh, Lakshmi Chowk, McLeod Road, Gowalmandi, Wansan wala Bazar, Akbari Mandi, Do Morya Pul, Faiz Bagh, Naulakha Chowk, Garhi Shahu, Bibi Pak Daman, Garden Town, Allama Iqbal Town and Chungi Amarsadhu.
In many localities, as water overflowed the city’s main drain, bursting at some points and leading to two to three feet of stagnant water in the streets. People could not step outside their houses as rainwater engulfed man-holes on different streets, causing injuries and inconvenience to several pedestrians and motorists.
Further, the Water and Sanitation Authority (WASA)’s inadequate sewerage system was completely choked, resulting in heaps of filth and plastic bags floating around in the accumulated water on the streets for hours.
"It was no secret that there would be heavy rainfall during the Monsoon season, so the concerned authorities should have repaired the broken roads and sewage links. Now we can do nothing but curse those at the helm of affairs," said Tariq Wahab, a resident of Misri Shah.
The Monsoon has always posed as a great challenge to WASA. Despite tall claims and the doubling of disposal stations in the city, the authority has been unsuccessful in improving drainage in heavy downpours, causing great inconvenience to the citizens.
Further, frequent power break downs added to the public’s miseries, while some areas were also affected by water shortages as the tube-wells do not function without electricity.
Multiple Lahore Electricity Supply Company (LESCO) feeders tripped on Tuesday, due to which the electricity supply to many areas remained suspended for over four hours.
WE DON’T LIKE MONSOON:
Despite the fact that the Monsoon rains lower the temperature, and provide relief against the scorching sun and humidity by making the weather pleasant, a survey revealed that a majority of Lahore’s citizens do not like this season.
Multiple reasons were cited for this, for example, according to the survey, 98 percent of Lahorites living in low lying areas did not like the Monsoon due to the poor drainage system and 75 percent found it irritating owing to the humid conditions.
MONSOON FEELS GREAT:
Only 25 percent of those surveyed expressed fondness for the season, saying that moments when a cool breeze followed the rains were unmatched in their serenity.
In fact, lovers of the Monsoon exceeded those who preferred spring; however, they specified that this preference only applied when pleasant winds followed the heavy, humid downpours.
Many such individuals could be seen today in various recreational sites in the city such as JalloPark, Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Fort and Lahore Zoo, enjoying the break from the unbearable summer.
However, the increasingly poor drainage system and electricity management in Lahore is testing even the meager 25 percent who welcome the Monsoon every year.
Many complained that they could not enjoy the pleasant weather owing to the stagnant water that accumulated for hours in their neighbourhoods.
OFFICIALS IN ACTION:
To counter the situation, Punjab Excise and Taxation Minister Mian Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman directed WASA and Town Municipal Authority (TMA) officials to remain vigilant for draining rainwater during the Monsoon season during his visit to Chowk Nakhuda, Lakshmi Chowk and Do-MorianBridge after the rain spell.
The minister inspected the process of sanitation and garbage disposal in various parts of the city, while many sanitation workers and WASA and TMA officials were also present.
Further, Commissioner Imdadullah Bosal, DCO Nasim Sadiq and PSO to the CM Khawaja Imran Raza visited various city roads after the rain to inspect WASA’s arrangements for draining the rainwater. They inspected the water disposal at the main sewer lines of Lakshmi Chowk, Nisbat Road, The Mall, Abbott Road and other areas, supervising the WASA operation.
Moreover, the commissioner directed the WASA managing director to ensure that stand-by fuel arrangements for generators during power load shedding were made so that disposal pumps would work uninterrupted, and drinking water would be supplied continuously, especially during Ramadan.
The Met office has predicted that there is more rain to come in the next 12 hours for Lahore.
Further, they informed that a seasonal low lies over North Balochistan and adjoining areas. Monsoonal currents from Arabian Sea are reaching the upper and eastern parts of the country and a western disturbance is also affecting Pakistan’s north. Rains, thunderstorms and duststorms are expected in scattered areas in upper Punjab (Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Sargodha divisions), Upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Kohat divisions), Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan and in isolated places of Bahawalpur, Dera Ismail Khan and Bannu divisions. Sporadic heavy rainfall is also expected in upper Punjab (Rawalpindi,Gujranwala, Sargodha divisions), Hazara and Kashmir.