Of rains, flash floods and Islamabad’s fault lines


ISLAMABAD - Look, there is flash flood in Islamabad. No, who says this? You are kidding me. It must be Karachi or some other major city of Punjab.
What the heck. What kind of rains these are. We have never seen such rains which have caused such a flash flood even in the posh E-11 residential sector. A mother along with her child drowned in the basement. Cars are floating in the flood water like boats. Hold on. What could have been its cause? Perhaps, the insane and greedy real estate developers of the posh sector. They had probably not set adequate passage for draining of rain water. No, no. What? It was a heavenly cloudburst. A cloudburst? We haven’t heard of such a phenomenon as old city dwellers since its inception. How do you say that? It is being discussed on the social media. Oh come on boy. What is the crux of the matter, tell me. Some people are saying cloudburst happened as a heavenly punishment to those who had developed the sector by bulldozing some grave graveyards. What is this non-sense? Don’t you know in downtown Pindi, people are building even shopping malls by encroaching old graveyards. No, I don’t know. So pathetic. Being a journalist you don’t know. Honestly, I have no idea. Leave it, I am not convinced. Tell me, how come the E-11 sector developers had not developed proper drainage system for rain water?  And in spite of the fact they were bound to get their housing plan approved by the Capital Development Authority (CDA). I am certain the CDA must have checked their master plan before giving its approval. Maybe. Anyhow, Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered an inquiry. Let’s see what comes out. Come downstairs and look, there is breaking news on TV channels. Vehicular traffic on Kashmir Highway now renamed as Srinagar Highway is blocked by rain water. Oh God what’s going on, I am coming son. When did it happen and which part of Srinagar Highway. Rushed downstairs. The news was being flashed on TV channels. How come? The rain on Friday was not that much to have caused flooding. Later, it emerged the highway near NUST Chowk was submerged causing long traffic jam. What has gone wrong with the capital? It was never like this. It’s damn climate change. Yes, could be because of unusual rains that are also causing flash flood. Is that so? I am not convinced. Islamabad used to have quite heavy rains, but never seen such situations when city roads and highways are being choked. Islamabad’s master plan was essentially based on over half of a dozen natural nullahs as key outlets for drainage of rain water most of which falls into the monster Nullah Leh in Rawalpindi. What happened to those nullahs in Islamabad. Are they chocked for good? No. Ali Nawaz, PTI MNA and Special Assistant to Prime Minister, got all the nullahs cleared before monsoon, and had spent huge funds to get the job done. Then, what else could be the reason often causing flash floods like situations on the city roads and highways. Can anyone help to figure it out? Yes, the lopsided development figures atop as primary factor. How is that possible when we have more than one housing authority now functioning in the capital city. Are they working in unison? Perhaps. Not sure. But to the best of my knowledge, CDA is mandated to ensure essential municipal services for up-keeping the city. Do we, the city dwellers, need more authorities to check and stop unplanned and lopsided development? Perhaps!

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