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Army-linked companies to bolster Karachi’s urban flood defenses

A motorcyclist wearing a protective mask crosses an almost empty intersection in Karachi, Pakistan. The megalopolis is the capital of the province of Sindh. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Karachi: The Pakistani army and a leading disaster management organization came to the rescue of the government of Sindh – the second largest province in Pakistan – so that emergency work could be started immediately to save Karachi from urban flooding during the monsoon. The megalopolis is the capital of Sindh.

On behalf of the Pakistani armies, its main civil engineering institution – the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) – has been tasked with cleaning up Karachi’s main storm sewers to ensure they carry rainwater directly to the sea. ‘Oman without causing flooding in congested and low areas. -the residential areas of the port city.

The FWO has a history of leading Herculean tasks, such as the construction of the Karakoram Highway – the road connecting Pakistan and China – and will be involved in the construction of new roads being considered as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Sorry state of affairs

The military-led National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was also tasked with carrying out relief operations in Karachi during the current monsoon. NDMA has spearheaded the federal government’s efforts against the dual emergency of COVID-19 and locust swarms.

Less than a hundred millimeters of rain at the end of last month caused catastrophic conditions in Karachi, reflecting the poor quality of its municipal system. Social media was abuzz with photographs and video clips showing flooded roads, blocked residential streets and expensive cars washed away by rainwater.

The grim situation in Karachi caught the attention of Prime Minister Imran Khan – whose Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf won the majority of National Assembly seats in Karachi in the last general elections in 2018 – who ordered the Pakistani Army and NDMA to begin disaster relief. work in the city.

Just before Eid Al Adha, the Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah, sat with the Commander of Corps 5 of the Pakistani Army, headquartered in Karachi, Lieutenant General Humayun Aziz and the President NDMA, Lieutenant-General Mohammad Afzal, to develop an emergency plan to clean up stormwater. Karachi drains.

The meeting decided to hand over the task to FWO, which will start its work immediately after Eid Al Adha.

A spokesperson for the Sindh chief minister said that during the meeting it was decided to demolish the physical encroachments (illegal settlements) to clear the passage of the storm sewers.

The FWO and the civil administration must race against time to complete the municipal emergency task as the next monsoon looms large.

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