Rawalpindi nullahs posing constant threat of flooding [The Nation] 27 Jun, 2016

Rawalpindi: The monsoon is around the corner, but Rawalpindi authorities have failed to de-silt and clean up major nullahs and streams putting several low-lying areas in danger of deluge and flooding.Residents living along these streams and in low-lying areas were bracing for a serious blow as the Met Office has predicted 30 per cent more rainfall this monsoon. Illegal constructions on nullah, dumped debris and construction material and growing shrubs and stuck up garbage and trash are major impediments in smooth flow of natural and stream water, which in turn, enter houses and localities lying in low areasOne major nullah staring from New Katarian passes through Khayaban-e-Sir Syed, Dholak Dalal, Mohanpura, Liaquat Bagh, and DolakChirag Deen before falling into river Sawan.During a survey of the stream, it was found that the several illegal structures have been constructed on the nullah squeezing space for smooth flow of sewage and rainwater. It was also found that debris and other construction material have been dumped in the nullah while plastic bags and other related garbage could be seen strewn in the mid of the stream. Residents continue to throw garbage in the nullah and sanitary staff lift the garbage once in a week or so.Courts have asked the civic authorities to raze illegal structures on several streams and nullahs but the local authorities have failed to comply with court orders.Around 11 major and small nullahs pass through the Rawalpindi citt and cantonment areas and all of them have been encroached upon while at the same time brimming with garbage and other rubbish.The nullahs passing through Dhok Hassu and Dhok Mangtall also present a grim scenario as illegal structures have popped up along both sides of the stream, putting constant threat of flooding. Every year, several children fall victim to flooding in these choked streams.During the survey, it was found that almost all other nullahs which pass through Liaquat Bagh Sports Stadium, Bohar Bazaar, Jamia Masjid Road, Dhok Ratta, Muhallah Kartarpra, Satellite Town, Tariq Abad, Millat Colony, Mikha Singh State and Dhok Ilahi Baksh have been encroached upon and all of them were choked with debris and garbage.No official in the TMA was ready to talk on the issue on record and only one official claimed that de-silting was under way to clean up the choked nullahs. When reminded of no progress on ground regarding cleaning up of nullahs, he said that work will be expedited with the coming into force of new the new fiscal year from July.

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