ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration and Capital Development Authority (CDA) sprang into action after heavy downpour hit the twin cities on Wednesday.
The District administration in Rawalpindi also came into the field to reach out to the rain-hit population. The rain that started a day earlier left several roads and low-lying areas in Islamabad and Rawalpindi inundated on Wednesday, creating an emergency situation for residents of the twin cities. Meanwhile, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) directorate said that army contingents were assisting civil administration in rescue and relief efforts.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr. Babar Awan along with Deputy Commissioner Islamabad visited E-11, the worst-hit sector of the city. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Babar Awan said that action was being taken against the management of the housing society and other state departments responsible for urban flooding. DC Islamabad Muhammad Hamza Shafqaat said that different teams of ICT administration were present in the field to assist the people in distress. He said the encroachments were being removed to ensure smooth flow of drainage and rainy water and added the losses would be recovered from the management of the housing society. In a tweet, the Deputy Commissioner said that the flooding was caused by a cloudburst, and that the capital’s administration was working to clear the roads. The DC also requested the people to restrict unnecessary movement.
Meanwhile, DC Islamabad, DG ICT and AC (Rural) visited Sohan and Korang Nullah blockage sites to review efforts by the district administration and local government. Instructions were issued to deploy more machinery and resources at the flash flood points. AC Rural and Magistrate Secretariat visited Park Road to ensure smooth flow of traffic during opening of the spillways. Traffic Police was also deployed to disperse the public. Rawal Dam spillways opening time was extended for 90 minutes. Upon identification, CDA teams moved to Hansa Colony in sector G-8 to clean the Nullah. AC Industrial Area inspected the progress and the teams cleared the bottlenecks. Furthermore, AC City, along with local NGOs, distributed food boxes in slum areas of sector F-7 and G-7. Door-to-door awareness campaigns were also conducted to inform residents of slum areas living right next to nullahs to move to nearby schools (temporary flood relief shelters), said the officials.
DC Islamabad Muhammad Hamza Shafqaat later tweeted that all roads in the federal capital have been cleared for traffic. “All roads are cleared for traffic in Islamabad,” he said. The district administration said that the Korang Bridge, Bani Gala and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s route have also been cleared. It further stated that rainwater drainage in all areas of Islamabad was then at normal levels.
Meanwhile, the CDA spokesperson said that an operation to clear thoroughfares and open them for traffic after the latter got severely affected continued in the city. He said that the CDA officials have been directed to remain alert in view of the expected rain in the coming days.
He said the federal capital received 330ml of record rain. He said the CDA Control Room would work round the clock to provide help to the rain-hit population. According to the ISPR, torrential rains had caused flooding in Nullah Leh, while the federal capital’s E-11 area had also been flooded. The military’s media wing maintained that army contingents were assisting the civil administration in the rescue and relief operations, while an emergency plan had been devised to overcome the situation.