At least 14 dead in Karachi as heavy downpour batters city



  • Over 250 feeders down
  • Mayor Akhter blames Sindh government for overflowing roads

KARACHI: The heavy rainfall that started late on Wednesday night, claimed the lives of at least 14 people due to electrocution. It also resulted in disruption of electricity supply to many areas of the city.

It is being expected that Karachi will be receiving heavy rains until Friday. Due to most of the major roads being submerged under water, private schools announced a holiday on Thursday in the late hours of Wednesday.

The low-pressure system moving in from the South East is expected to bring over 40mm of rainfall coupled with winds as high as 60 kilometres per hour, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).

Meanwhile, authorities in Sindh have declared a ‘rain-emergency’ in the province in the aftermath of Pakistan Meteorological Department’s (PMD) warning of the fore coming widespread rains.

Leaves of relevant staff have been canceled and the services of Pakistan Navy have been acquired to respond to any emergencies.


Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, who is in Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj, telephoned provincial ministers and chief secretary and gave them necessary instructions for redressing public grievances during the current episode of heavy rains.

During his telephonic conversation with the provincial ministers Jam Khan Shoro and Syed Nasir Shah, the CM asked them to visit the city and get the areas cleared where rain water has accumulated.

Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro told the chief minister that he, along with Information Minister Syed Nasir Shah, were on the visit of the city and have cleared KDA Chowarngi, Mohsin Bhopali Underpass in District Central and also visited Shahrah-e-Faisal, Tariq Road and University Road.

The CM also talked to Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mendhro and urged him to declare emergency in all the government hospitals, dispensaries and such other facilities to help the people. “I am also worried about the sacrificial cattle brought in the city,” he said and urged Dr Mendhro to convey his directives to directorate of veterinary to make necessary arrangement for cattle’s vaccination.

Syed Murad Ali Shah also talked to Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon on telephone and got briefing from him about the plight of the city during the rain. He asked him to mobilize PDMA and other resources to help people to face the situation.

The chief minister also spoke to the Complaint Cell established in the CM House and asked them about the nature of complaints they were receiving and the ratio of their redressal.

The CM House complaint cell can be reached through phone nos: 021-99202080-1, 021-99207568, 021-99202065, 99207349 and Fax no: 021-99202007, for registration of complaints. The chief minister has urged the people to register their complaints on the number of CM House complaint Cell.



Meanwhile, Provincial Ministers Jam Khan Shoro and Syed Nasir Shah visited the city and issued necessary directives to DMCs and KWSB for disposal of rain water accumulated along the roads and streets located in the low lying areas.

Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro said that during the last one and half years, the provincial government was working to remove encroachments along the storm water drains and nullahs and have also cleansed them.

Talking about the Gujjar Nullah, Jam Khan said that around 13,000 units established along the nullah have been removed and the width of the nullah which had reduced to four feet has been widened. Now Gujjar Nullah is clean and draining water smoothly. But still work was going on there, he said.

Talking about Mahmoodabad Nullah, Shoro said that about 8,985 establishments and encroachments were removed from there and the nullah was cleansed as well. Similarly, Picher Nullah has also been cleared from encroachment and cleansed. This cleansing work was still in progress, he said.

It may be noted that the provincial government, during the concluding months of last budget, gave the KMC Rs 500 million for cleanliness of their nullah. The DMCs were also given Rs 100 million each for cleansing of their nullah. “This shows that they have not done their work,” Jam Khan said.

Information Minister Syed Nasir Shah said that he was not blaming any local body, but “I am of the opinion that no issue would arise if they [local bodies] do their work properly,” he said.

Akhtar laments Sindh govt’s apathy:

Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar on Thursday admitted the dismal condition of the city after rain but entirely blamed the Sindh government for the overflowing roads.

Talking to a private media outlet, Akhtar said that though they had the rain forecast, but the city’s disposal system is unable to cope with such heavy showers. Most of the water drains are filled with waste though they are not made for the purpose of garbage disposal, he added.

He said that the solid waste management and water board departments are part of the Sindh government, and the government should ensure that the drainage systems are not used for garbage disposal.

“Karachi needs a new sewerage system; the present system has been completely destroyed,” said the mayor.

The mayor said that he has raised these concerns with the Sindh and federal government but is yet to receive any response.

Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro, however, claimed that the local authorities carried out work on widening the drains last year to tackle the post-rain situation. He said that various structures and even houses were removed from above these drains to ensure swift drainage of water.

Citizens say no satisfactory arrangements have been made to face the potential threat of flooding in Sindh’s urban and rural districts as the pipes remain heaped up with garbage.

The rainfall has exposed the physical readiness of the government to manage the system as the city underwent prolonged power outages, with main city roads inundated, causing severe traffic jams.


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