The performance of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) in Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and areas of Clifton was perhaps the only silver lining on a rain-crippled Monday.

While much of the city lost electricity supply with the first drops of rain, supply to most of DHA remained uninterrupted through much of the downpour. As a result, small shops and markets continued with their businesses, but their customer count was reported to be low, given that many consumers were trapped inside their own houses.

Meanwhile, civic infrastructure seemed to have collapsed altogether in DHA. The much-publicized and the admittedly expensive DHA storm water drainage system failed to perform its intended function, as water kept flowing out of the main drainage line at the intersection of Main Commercial Avenue and Khayaban-e-Bahria, rather than inside it. Interestingly, nine trucks of Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) were parked together near the intersection, ostensibly for drainage purposes, but seemed clueless and without direction.

Further along, towards Sunset Boulevard, the entire road was submerged under water. This situation was witnessed just a few hundred metres away from where the CBC trucks were parked. In an irony of sorts, part of the main line of the drainage system exists on the same road, but it seemed that the entire drainage system had stopped working, with some residents and their employees even trying to drain water from inside their compounds.

The other Khayabans around DHA were also severely inundated, with parts of Ittehad, Bokhari, Rahat, Shahbaz, Sehr, Bahria, Hilal, not only unfit for traffic but also unable to provide entry to residents living there.

While the scenes at the main thoroughfares were obviously chaotic, the scenes inside the lanes were even worse. Those houses which are built at a higher incline seemed safe from standing water, but those at lower planes seemed to be affected most.

A common complaint in DHA, apart from jibes at the drainage system, was that a lot was spent on developing a drainage system, but not much attention was given to the drainage of service lanes along main thoroughfares. As a result, even these lanes were inundated, and in some cases, water even entered inside homes.

Punjab Chowrangi remained a hub of activity, as many commuters awaited some form of transport while the rain lashed down. Many cars also sought some sort of refuge at a petrol pump located at the Chowrangi, a situation compounded by the fact that many petrol pumps had stopped selling fuel in anticipation of the rise in prices from Tuesday (today).

The road from Punjab Chowrangi towards Askari-I was already partially inundated after the first albeit moderate spell of rainfall on Sunday. The situation, however, worsened on Monday, with the road almost fit for boat traffic rather than vehicular traffic. The situation improved as one moved towards Boat Basin, with many markets and fast food outlets open for businesses

Source: The News