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Karachi risks flooding as stormwater drains remain choked

KARACHI: While the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has forecast increased rainfall and thunderstorms this year, local authorities have failed to take any precautionary arrangements ahead of the rainy season.
More than 500 small and large stormwater drains in the metropolis have not been cleaned, while 27 large drains are clogged with trash and mud which can cause a disaster in the upcoming rainy season.
The Karachi Municipal Authority (KMC) does not have financial resources to ensure the cleaning of large stormwater drains. The city risks being submerged in the rainy season due to the negligence of local authorities and further increasing the miseries of residents.
There have been efforts to clean stormwater drains in District Central while other districts have not started work. This is partly due to lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic during which several government departments were closed for three months.
The Sindh government will have to increase cooperation with the KMC and district administration in the cleaning of stormwater drains. For the past two years, the provincial government has handed over the responsibility to the district administration which has no expertise in urban flooding.
The local government requires heavy funding for the cleaning of stormwater drains while it has seen a drop in revenue this year due to closures. Heavy rainfall for more than three hours would submerge the low lying areas in the city but local authorities have yet to take any concrete action.
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