HYDERABAD: After suffering under continuous rain for over two months, over 500,000 residents of city, Latifabad and Qasimabad areas have now to contend with streets and roads flooded with stinking water as sewage has mixed with the stagnant rainwater due to chocked drains.

The drainage of rainwater through the only wastewater drain for Latifabad is extremely slow as the drain is clogged at some places and needs to be cleared after dismantling structures built over it.

Hundreds of thousands of people living in units-2, 8 and 12 of Latifabad taluka, several areas of Qasimabad and city share the same ordeal due to the faulty drainage system.

“We can’t leave the area for several days. The stagnant rainwater had turned blackish after sewage mixed with it,” said a resident of unit-8 pointing towards a section of flooded Autobahn road outside Sindh Regimental Centre (SRC).

Javed, another resident of the area, agreed with him and said the unit’s drainage was dependent on the drain’s smooth functioning. “Rain has stopped but our miseries are not over yet and they seem to be multiplying by each passing day,” he deplored.

One could hardly enter units-12 and 8 from the flooded Autobahn road as the drain has become overloaded and have started flowing back in these areas. The drain passing outside SRC is said to have clogged which needs to be cleared.

The Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) had to install heavy machines to lift the wastewater from one end of the drain and throw it to the other end as an ad hoc arrangement lately.

Road infrastructure, nurseries, a filling station operated by a law enforcement agency and parking areas of commercial projects have been built over a considerable stretch of the drain.

The district administration has opened some portions of the drain by dismantling parking areas and other structures of commercial plazas. But some portions mentioned above have been left standing. The filling station’s space covering the drain has not been touched yet.

“We need to provide some respite to people right now who are suffering due to this problem in units 8 and 12 of Latifabad,” said Hyderabad deputy commissioner Fuad Ghaffar Soomro.

Hyderabad’s General Officer Commanding (GOC) Maj Gen Dilawar Khan visited the area the other day following residents’ complaints. Pakistan Peoples Party’s member of Sindh Assembly from Latifabad Abdul Jabbar Khan and deputy commissioner briefed him about the problem.

The military officials from station headquarters along with deputy commissioner and MPA Jabbar Khan again visited the area the following day. They told the MPA and district administration to carry out their work without any hindrance and mobilise machinery for dismantling the drain outside SRC and no one would object to it.

They said that if they needed machinery it could be made available by Cantonment Board Hyderabad (CBH) to assist the administration.

According to MPA Jabbar Khan, the SRC authorities have no objection if the route of the drainage has been cleared by dismantling any concrete structure outside SRC as it involves public interest.

The MPA said that the filing station’s portions or any other area blocking the drain could be dismantled. “We can’t leave people in the lurch. They have been suffering for almost past two weeks since the rains have started,” he said.

Almost all streets and main roads are flooded with rainwater which has mixed with sewage. Main bazaar in unit-8 of Latifabad near Ayesha Park remained closed and life remained paralyzed in the area. Nusrat Colony and Hali Road areas are still under rainwater.

The situation in Qasimabad and parts of the city was similar. The areas of Gulistan-i- Sajjad, Citizen Colony, Abdullah Homes, Qasimabad phase-I, Anwar Villas, Sehrish Nagar are worst hit by drainage issues.

Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2022

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