On Sunday 26th July-2020 weather system brought heavy rains in Karachi. According to data provided by the MET Office, the highest rainfall was recorded in Gulistan-e-Johar, at 66 millimeters (mm), while 55 mm was registered at Old Airport, 55 mm in Pehlwan Goth, 42 mm in Malir, Saddar 43 millimeters (mm), while 26 mm was registered at Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Faisal Base, 22mm in Nazimabad, 12mm at PAF Masroor Base, 8.8mm at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport, 3.1mm in Landhi, and 1.2mm in Surjani Town.
According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), city received more than 80 mm rainfall in the third spell of the monsoon and more rain is expected in this season. The heavy to moderate rainfall caused flooding in low lying areas of the city and inundated several key roads, causing problems for the commuters as administration remained helpless and even absent at some locations despite a prior warning from the met officials. Nipa Chowrangi, Gurumandir Chowrangi, Shahrai-e-Faisal, Hassan Square turned into large water pools, as motorcyclists and four-wheelers could be witnessed trapped in water high up to knee-level. According to the initial reports from media and local communities, in many areas there is still stagnant water in streets and houses that overflowed from Nullahs. Those areas included Orangi Town, Khairabad Police Ground area, Ali Garh Market, Disco Morr, Islam Chowk, Bangla Bazar, Neepa Chowrangi, Gulshan-e- Iqbal, and Hyderi in North Nazimabad.
Root causes for the urban flooding in Karachi
In the last fourty years, Karachi city has been facings severe problems due to heavy rains in monsoon season as there are serious issues with the drainage system in Karachi. Despite accepting the brutal reality of the situation, one can not blame any institution but the responsibility lied with the Provincial government, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and District Munciple Corporations (DMCs) and private housing societies to keep clean the drains of Karachi and to drain out all the rainwater from the city.
In the city, as visible to all, width of many rain water drains and Nullah have been reduced, on many construcuton have been done, and most of them are choked with garbage. Information collected through different sources revealed that there are many structures and building have been constructed over the drain of Soldier bazar incuding two banks, gold shops / market, one section of girls high school, Shaheen complex, car parking area of supreme court, district NAB office, KMC market and Aurganzeb market. In Lyari, on Muhammad Shah road, part of Kakri ground, meat market and two masjids are constructed on one of the drain.
The width of the drainage of Manzoor colony on Korangi road has been reduced and near Qayoomabad, Defence Housing Authority (DHA) has constructed bungalows over the same drainage. Drain that starts from Cantt station to Clifton has a 50 feet width but due to construction of Jamat Khana, its width has been reduced to 36 ft, which drain out in Nahar e Khayam. Drain of Madina colony and Singer chowrangi are also in the same condition.
Width of the largest drain Nullah of Oragni town, has been reduced due to encroachment on both sides, that’s why there was a flood in recent days because of heavy rains of monsoon. Width of Mianwali drainage has been reduced by soil pipe instaltions by KDA into it and now very little amount of rain water flows through it.