Karachi: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that heavy rain in the city has caused problems but entire government machinery, including local bodies, were active on the roads to dispose of rainwater.
He said this while talking to media during his visit to the city. He was accompanied by Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani, Minister Excise Mukesh Chawla, VC NED Dr Sarosh Lodhi, Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shahalwani, Special Secretary Local Government Niaz Soomro and others.
The chief minister said that all major Nalas in the city have encroached at one place. “The nalas, which are naturally so wide to carry water have been reduced to hardly a few feet because people have established their homes on the sides,” he said and added that despite congestion on nalas the government have cleansed them.
He started his visit from Shahrah-e-Faisal and finished it at Tariq Road where a wide drench had established when underground waterline collapsed. The chief minister directed MD Water Board Asadullah Khan to repair it urgently, otherwise, rainwater would seep into nearby buildings and would damage them.
At Nursery two small children, brother and sister were sitting on wheel-chairs and were begging. The chief minister stopped there and affectionately interviewed them. They both were from Jacobabad and were left there by their father. During his interview with the kids, the chief minister found that both the children were not disabled but acting like disables. He shifted them to Commissioner office and directed the commissioner to summon their father and take an undertaking in writing for not engaging his innocent children in beggary after this. “If he [father of children] can’t afford their square meals and schooling then I would do that but won’t allow them stretching their small hands before other people for few a few coins,” he said.
The chief minister visited Gulshan-e-Iqbal, opposite Urdu University, Nipa Chowrangi, Safoora Chorangi, Northern Byepass – the area of Saadi Town, Lyari Nadi at Sohrab Goth bridge, Gujar Nala at Nazimabad and various other parts of the city.
Mr Shah a told media that Northern Byepass construction has stopped smooth flow of rainwater, therefore water penetrated to nearby areas, including Saadi Town and nearby localities.
He added that at the site where Northern Byepass has been established there was a natural waterway. When it was constructed appropriate culverts should have been constructed to give way to water but it was not done, he said.
Mr Shah directed VC NED University and Special Secretary Local Government Niaz Soomro to conduct a study of the Underpass and explore ways and means to give way to water so that nearby localities and the Bypass itself could be saved from flooding.
Answering a question, he said that the roads constructed under Karachi package 1, 2 and 3 have service lanes, median and drainage system, therefore rainwater has drained out from there. He added the roads constructed earlier were not given provision of drainage, therefore water accumulated and DMCs and deputy commissioners had to install de-watering pumps to clear them.
The CM further said that from last few days ever since the forecast for rain was made he kept visiting choking points. Therefore, most of the areas have been cleared of water.
He expressed profound grief over election incidents. “I have directed KE to take necessary measure to control the situation,” he said and urged people to remain at arm’s length from electric poles and other installations during the rainy season.
Mr Shah lauded all civic agencies’ hard work, including Mayor Karachi in making efforts to ameliorate the problems of people in the city.
To a question, Shah said that KE could not ensure proper power supply in the city, even pumping stations at Dhabeji and Pipri were tripped. Therefore, water supply has been affected in the city.
At the conclusion of his visit, Shah also visited Jahangir Road and Saddar area and issued necessary directives to the administration to ensure smooth flow of traffic and public convenience.