The accumulation of rainwater on several roads and streets of Defence Housing Authority (DHA) in the aftermath of two-day rain on Sunday and Monday has flooded the locality while posing a serious question mark over the utility and effectiveness of the newly-laid drainage system in the area.

After Monday’s downpour, Commercial area Phase-IV, streets linking to Khayaban-e-Hilal and parts of Khayaban-e-Shahbaz are the worst affected quarters of the DHA. The Saddar observatory of the Meteorological Department, nearest to Clifton and DHA areas, recorded 60 millimetres (2.36 inches) of rain alone on Monday.

Qazi Shehryar, a resident of Khayaban-e-Shahbaz near Popular Avenue Junction said that owing to Monday’s downpour, rainwater first seeped into the driveway of his home, heavily damaging the three vehicles parked inside. “The rainwater then made its way into the ground floor of my house, and also damaged the electrical motor for overhead water tank as well as the power generator. The seeping water has also damaged the drawing room and prayer room at the ground floor,” Qazi said as he added that the gushing rainwater also rendered the main gate of his house inoperative. He maintained that his residence always witnessed such damage due to flooding of rainwater after every event of downpour. “Despite the disadvantageous location of the area, the lines of the newly developed drainage system in the DHA were not laid on the part of the road in front of my house,” he said.

He added that he incurred heavy losses every time it rained even a bit.

He further added that an underground drainage line laid some years back at a portion of the road but had proved to be insufficient for draining out rainwater from Popular Avenue junction.

Javed Khan, a resident of Commercial Avenue in DHA Phase-IV, said that rainwater again seeped into his house after Monday’s rain but the damage due to water was not much as compared to the July 18 rain.

He said that rainwater entered inside several houses in various streets at Phase-IV Commercial Avenue especially after the collapse of sewerage system in the neighbourhood.

Honorary General-Secretary of Association of Defence Residents (ADR) Asad Kizilbash said that after Monday’s downpour, among other areas one could see massive flooding of rainwater on Khayaban-e-Hilal especially on the streets linking to DHA Phase-VII

He said that there are several questions regarding the effectiveness of the newly laid drainage system of the DHA in a situation when on several spots one could see water pumping operations to clear accumulated rainwater. “The situation has improved a lot in comparison with the 2007 monsoon rains. However, manual and motorized operations are required on several spots of the DHA to pump out the accumulated rainwater,” he said.

“If an efficient drainage system was in place, then we should not have seen accumulated rainwater after five to six hours of rain but unfortunately that is not the case in the DHA,” said the ADR general-secretary.

Moreover, he said, the newly laid drainage system should not be handed over to Clifton Cantonment by the DHA until and unless the former’s engineers thoroughly check and verify the efficiency, operational capability and situation of cleanliness. He added that at this stage ADR is unaware as to whether the DHA or Clifton Cantonment is responsible for the operations of the new drainage system.

Other areas in DHA affected by flooding include portions of Khayaban-e-Shujaat between E-Street and Khayaban-e-Shamsheer, some portions of Badar Commercial area, a side of Khayaban-e-Nishat and Phase-IV junction and some parts of Khayaban-e-Bahria.

A DHA spokesman claimed that the rainwater which partially accumulated in some low lying areas in DHA during rain had receded quickly and 99 per cent of DHA and CBC areas are largely clear and accessible. All the major roads in DHA remained largely clear during the rains, he claimed. “Though there was partial flooding in some deep and low lying flat areas, the fast return to normalcy after rains has validated the efficacy of the newly laid drainage system in DHA which has worked with remarkable efficiency and provided a way for speedy drainage of a very large volume of water. The determined efforts of CBC and DHA staff who zealously remained involved in the massive rain operation was instrumental in bringing normalcy within DHA in the shortest possible time,” said the DHA spokesman.

Source: The News