RAWALPINDI - Heavy rain played havoc in various parts of the city on Saturday,
as two little sisters swept away in a seasonal nullah at Wahdat Colony, Jarahi, while two other children died and four others got injured when roof of their home caved in.
The two sisters, who were drowned in the nullah commonly known as Jarahi, later ascertained as Maryam Bibi, 8, and Gull Bibi, 3, the daughters of Zahir Shah, a baker by profession.
The Rescue 1122, which was launched by Punjab government after spending billion of rupees and its prime duty is to respond the calls of the citizens in any natural disaster, did not respond the several calls made by the area residents to rescue the girls. Rescue 1122 reached at 05:45pm after receiving some phone calls from media men and flashing the news on private TV channels and rushed to the nullah and launched search operation.
Moreover, the rainwater also gushed out in various streets and low-lying areas, just because of chocked drains and nullahs just because of the apathy of civic agencies, causing huge damage to the houses and other precious stuff at Tahli Mohri, Lal Kurti, Dheri Hassanabad, Dhoke Syedan, Misrial Road and Shakeryal.
The rain also damaged electricity pylons and transformers in many areas.
According to Zahir Shah, whose house is located on the bank of Jarahi Nullah and is made of mud, his roof caved in because of rain at 6:00am. He said that he had to move all his belongings to a safer place after heavy rain caused flooding in the nullah.
He said that a big wave of water swept away the two of his daughters who were sleeping at that time.
“I lost my conscious after seeing the water swallowing my two daughters. My wife made noise in the street when the neighbours gathered and started search operation. But the water flow was so swift that drowned by daughters,” he said, adding that the area residents made several phone calls to Rescue 1122 but all the time the rescuers said that they were arriving to search the girls. But later, they did not arrive, he said in chocked voice.
After getting the news of the sad incident, the relatives and other area people launched search operation at different points of the nullah but no girl was found.
The Punjab Emergency Service Rescue 1122, which is operating in twin cities, when contacted by this scribe at 4:53 and informed it about the incident, the operator-1 of the emergency service started interviewing him making irrelevant questions about the incident. When told that the relatives of the two girls themselves searching the victims, that might be killed so far, and any new incident could be occurred, the operator replied, “Confirmation is very important to us”.
The operator also asked this scribe to provide him the mobile number of somebody who was standing at the incident place. A mobile number 03360112601, owned by one Yasir Javed, was given to the operator, but he did not contact with the eyewitness.
At 5:40pm, this scribe received a phone call from 051-9290128 (Rescue 1122 Operational Unit) and a rescuer again demanded the mobile number of somebody who was standing among the family of victim girls. When asked as to why the emergency service was making delay to move the divers to launch the search operation, the operator refused to reply.
District Officer Rescue 1122 Dr Abdul Rehman, when approached, said that he received information about the incident at 5:50am and sent the rescuers to find out the girls.
He denied opening his lips when asked as to why the rescuers did not respond the emergency calls in time.
Till the filing of this report the rescue operation was continued without any recovery.
Meanwhile, two children were killed and four other people injured when a building collapsed at Gulraiz Gate Number 2. Those who died later identified as Naseema, 7, and Aurangzaib, 2, while Yahya and three others were among the injured.
The locals and rescuers launched rescue operation and pulled out the victims from the rubble of the building.
APP add: People of low-lying areas are not satisfied over the arrangements to avert flood like situation and demanded for affective measures to clean the nullahs. People of low-lying areas are spending restlessness nights and feared possible flood in Nullah Lei.
These low lying area including Arya Mohalla, Nadeem Colony, Javed Colony, Muslim Colony, Amar Pura, Feroze Pura, Kartar Pura, Bohar Bazaar, Moti Bazaar, Murree Road underpass, Waris Khan chowk, Sadiqabad, Rasheed Colony, Mukha Singh Estate, Rahimabad, Dhok Elahi Baksh are always badly affected due to the cleanliness and encroachment in these areas.
Meanwhile, the City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) on completed all the arrangements to tackle possible flood in Leh Nullah during the monsoon season.
The area all along the Nullah Leh has been divided into four sectors where emergency flood centers have been set up, which would be controlled from the office of District Coordination Officer and the centres have been made operational to cope any emergency.
“These centres will operation round the clock to meet any eventuality,” Executive District Officer of Municial Services Imtiaz
Malik said while addressing a meeting to review arrangements in view of coming monsoon season. Imtiaz Malik asked the concerned staff to remain vigilant, as no negligence will be tolerated at any cost.