Underpass Operational Again

The underpass has been drained out and opened to vehicular traffic. So said me, after passing through it to come to work this morning :D It is almost as if it was dry all along.

However, be warned that the teen talwar area is still flooded…. all the way upto clifton bridge. Apparently its because of the reduction (and subsequent jamming) of Nehr-e-Khayyam, which runs through clifton. In order to prevent another instance of the flooding, FWO and KPT have errected a very large… hump at the side facing teen talwar, which will (supposedly) keep the water out from it until it reaches dangerously high.

The KPT has put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the City Govt, which ofcourse, has blamed KPT back.

Talking to newsmen at KPT underpass to apprise them measures taken by them for removal of rain water from the underpass, he [Chairman Karachi Port Trust (KPC) Vice Admiral Ahmed Hayat] said in-built system of underpass for removal was functioning properly but owing to diversion of rain water from adjoining roads, the underpass flooded.

“The underpass flooded due to inefficiency of CDGK as rain-water drainage system on its adjoining roads was badly choked. They (CDGK) have completely failed in looking after city’s infrastructure and providing relief to masses” he alleged, saying underpass was well built and there was no problem in its design.

Pointing out the rainwater accumulated on roads near “Teen Talwar”, he said all the water, which had to be removed from the roads through rainwater drain system, was diverted towards the underpass, putting immense pressure on its in-built pumps for removal of extra water.

Seeing the work being done around, and who has what repsonsibility, i tend to agree with him. That is my own opinion only. Yours may differ. :D

8 Comments so far

  1. pakvestor (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2006 @ 11:05 am

    I have a totally different perspective on the issue. I tend to agree with the city nazim who claims that they were not taken into confidence whilst designing the said project.

    I believe that the CDGK should effectively be given the authority to act as a municipality of sorts. They should be approving of all the project being undertaken in the city. Only then can there be a control against construction being undertaken left right and centre

  2. Kashif Aziz (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2006 @ 11:21 am

    Hopefully the underpass will be underwater again after today’s burst of rain.

  3. mansoor (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2006 @ 11:43 am

    pakvestor: they were not taken into confidence whilst designing the said project? I fail to see how such a *big* operation could be done without them knowing…? The CDGK does have legal authority when it comes to allowing projects to go ahead or rejecting them… that line doesnt make sense to me.. sorry.

    kashif: Hopefully?! arent we the skeptic ;)

  4. pakvestor (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2006 @ 12:14 pm

    Well … I really do not know who is telling the truth. But if they were not taken into confidence (which I actually may believe due to the fact that it was a pet project of the KPT and carried out by the FWO – both under the control of the Federal Govt) they should have been.

    But like I said … I don’t who is telling the truth.

  5. mansoor (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2006 @ 4:21 pm

    pakvestor: now that is one thing i cant contest…. even i dont know who’s telling the truth :D we we both agree on this then :)

  6. Salman (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2006 @ 6:57 pm

    well KPT comes under MQM’s minister Baber Gauri protfolio of Ports and Shipping while the city Nazim
    also a MQM guy take cares of District Govt so either way atleast they must have been aware of all the details

  7. ADNAN (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 1:51 am

    Well as far as i know .. when KPT underpass project was initiated .. curreent City government was not in rule … they start there government in september .. when half of the KPT underpass was already constructed…

  8. Omar R. Quraishi (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 2:55 pm

    Read an editorial on this from The News, printed om August 4, 2006

    Passing the buck

    The first three inches of monsoon rains in Karachi have laid bare some telling realities for its civic and land-owning agencies to ponder upon. The most obvious problem may not be the standing water but the potholed water-clogged roads and underpasses. A case in point is the KPT underpass, currently the subject of a blame game between the City District Government of Karachi (CDGK) and the Karachi Port Trust which built it. There are reports that the underpass has been built in a manner that it literally encroached on a major stormwater drain next to it. Besides, there has been, according to the CDGK, other construction around the drain and both actions have led to a situation where its ability to drain rainwater has been severely impaired. By any account, these are serious allegations. While the KPT vehemently denies that it has done any of this, independent experts have told this newspaper that the stormwater drain (somewhat euphemistically named the Neher-e-Khayyam) has in fact been reduced greatly in size. The KPT has also said that it has several pumps in place and instead blamed the CDGK for not cleaning the drains and sewers on roads in its jurisdiction (close to the underpass) and this, it says, caused the severe flooding. If such an expensive underpass equipped with all the necessary pumping gadgets could not withstand three or four inches of rain, what will happen to the similar underpasses being constructed in other parts of Karachi?

    Whatever the truth is and whoever is responsible for the debacle, the issue that has been brought to the fore by the underpass’s flooding is that there needs to be a central agency which should have authority to own and maintain all the infrastructure of the country’s largest city. What has happened should also be cause for the government to launch an independent inquiry to ascertain what exactly happened? Did the KPT’s pumps not work and if they didn’t why? Also, it is imperative to find out whether the size of the drain has indeed been reduced and if so it has, who, and acting under what authority, is behind the construction of encroachments on or around it. There is much circumstantial evidence to suggest that much of this may well be true. It, unfortunately, fits in well with the way encroachments occur in Karachi and the way the land mafia operates. The more worrying aspect of this mater is that the land-grabbing in this case may well have been sanctioned by a government organisation, and hence the need for an independent inquiry. Matters will have to be set right and the stormwater drain should be restored to its original size or else taxpayers’ money will go down the drain (no pun intended) again.

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