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Karachi: Flooding in DHA areas poses questions

Flooding of various localities in Defence Housing Authority areas have made irate residents ask questions about the effectiveness of the multi-billion rupee drainage system that the DHA constructed last year. Residents of Khayban-e-Sehar and Khayban-e-Shahbaz once again witnessed heavy flooding of their homes following the record rainfall in the city on Saturday.

Similar scenes were witnessed in DHA Phase 1 and parts of Phase 2 where low lying houses were flooded. Many residents asked what purpose the multi-billion drainage system constructed by the DHA served given the extent of flooding in many areas.

However, a survey by The News revealed that many areas that had in the past been inundated during the 2007 heavy downpour remained relatively dry in this spell of rains. DHA officials conceded that owing to the quantum of rains on Saturday, which itself was a record by Karachi standards, the drainage system of the DHA met with some problem in certain areas.

The Popular Avenue drain, for example, developed a fault on Saturday owing to which parts of DHA Phase 6 and Phase 8 became flooded. It may be recalled that the DHA is already in the middle of a controversy over imposing a tax to recover the money it has spent on the drainage project. In 2009, this project has by and large shown mixed results with the result that many residents would resist paying for a facility that has once again let them down.

In comparison to other parts of the city, say observers, DHA areas were in better shape. The drain that ran into the Seaview beach area worked comparatively well with the result that most localities in this vicinity were dry within hours of the downpour. For many DHA residents, this was a welcome change from 2007 when their houses and roads had remained under water for nearly a week.

Source: The News

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