Rawalpindi/islamabad - Heavy rain on Monday paralysed normal life in Rawalpindi district and Islamabad by flooding roads and streets, disrupting communication system, blocking traffic, suspending commercial activities and raising water level in Nullah Leh.

Pakistan Army has been alerted in wake of likely flooding in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

The water level in Nullah Leh Lai has risen above 17 feet. The water level is rising to a dangerous level in Nullah Leh and locals residing in the areas located along the nullah are facing threat of flood, a Rescue 1122 high-up told The Nation.

The roof of the Parliament has also started dripping due to excessive rain. Moreover, the roads in the city are flooded due to which the traffic is unable to move smoothly.

The rainwater entered the building of Benazir Bhutto International Airport also. Rain also forced the contractors to stop work on metro bus service project on Benazir Bhutto Road after the rainwater turned it into a muddy track.

An officer of Rescue 1122 said no incident of house or roof collapse was reported anywhere in the district. The city district government Rawalpindi has put officials of all the civic bodies and Rescue 1122 on high alert to tackle any untoward situation.

The worst rain-hit area was Saddar where rainwater played havoc with traders and shoppers. Traders blasted cantonment board authorities for making delay in completion of cantonment beautification work. They said that cantonment board authorities should spend money on cleaning of sewerage system instead of planting trees and flowers in the cantonment area.

Ambulances carrying patients and other vehicles also got stuck in ditches filled with water.

The sewerage and drainage system in many areas got chocked. Rain also caused immense troubles for the residents of low-lying areas and slums.

In Nullah Leh, water level has reached up to 17 feet. DCO Sajid Zafar Dall ordered for ringing alarms to alert the people residing along the banks of the nullah.

The rainwater also entered many houses, shopping malls, plazas and markets and damaged precious stuff. The people could be seen pumping out water from their houses and shops with plastic tubs.

The rainwater submerged roads and streets in areas of Hazara Cololny, Liaquat Bagh, Arya Mohalla, Saddar, Haider Road, Bank Road, Kashmir Road, Gawalmandi, Ganjmandi, Peshawar Road, AFIC, Katcheri, Adyala Road, Shahpur, Gorakhpur, Adyala Village, Munawar Colony, Hill View, Morgah, DHA-1 and 2, Dhama Syedan, Caltex Road, Dhoke Jumma, Tulsa, Tahli Mohri, Bakra Mandi, Dhoke Syedan, Baraf Khana, Misrial, Chakra, Pirwadhai, Dhoke Hassu, Dhoke Mangtal, Dhoke Elahi Bux, Dhoke Najju, Baddar Colony, Fauji Colony, IJP Road, Shakrial, Kuri Road, Bandh Khana Road, Muslim Town, Sadiqabad Chowk, Dhoke Kala Khan, Commercial, Murree Road, Double Road, Faizabad, Kirtar Pura, Raja Bazaar, City Sadar Road, Asghar Mall Scheme, Banni, Jamia Masjid Road, Dhoke Kashmirian, Railway Colonies, Humak, Model Town, Soad Bridge, Car Chowk, Rawatm Mandra, Kallar Syedan, Gujar Khan and many other areas.

A bumper to bumper traffic jam was also observed in the areas with hectic efforts on part of traffic wardens, following the instructions of CTO Shoaib Khurram Janbaz, to ease the flow of traffic. Business activities also remained thin in all the areas as people preferred to stay indoor in heavy rain.

The attendance in schools, colleges, universities and offices remained also low. The public transport remained off the road and passengers faced troubles. Owners of taxi and rickshaw cabs fleeced the passengers while taking advantage of rain.

Talking to The Nation, District Emergency Officer (DEO) Rescue 1122 Dr Abdul Rehman said that so far no incident of roof collapse has been reported. He said that the water level was rising to a dangerous level in Leh because of back flow of water.

He explained that contractors and labourers of metro bus service project have dumped waste in Leh under the bridge being constructed at Moti Mehal. “Now water level is high and the residents of Gawalmandi are facing flood threats,” he said.

DCO Sajid Zafar Dall, while talking to media, said that Flood Control Room recorded Nullah Leh rain fall at Saidpur 34mm, PMD 31, RAMC 32, Bokra 45 and at Golra 29mm. He said that the water level at Katarian was 8.83 feet whereas 10.83 feet at Gawalmandi at 5:30pm. “I have ordered for alert sirens to be rung. But this is as per SOP.

The evacuation level is 20 feet and we hope that it would not reach at that level, as a 4-hour rain break has been forecasted.”

According to the Metrological Department (MET), a new round of rains will start from March 4 (Wednesday). The digging done on the roads for the Metro Bus Project on Murree Road and in Islamabad now have become water pools. At least 89ml rain has been recorded so far in Rawalpindi while 88ml in Islamabad.

Online adds: Heavy rainfall accompanied by strong winds lashed across the country turning the weather colder on Monday. Intermittent rain has continued in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and adjoining areas whereas cool breeze has also made the weather more pleasant.

According to Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) the weather system will cause heavy rain and hailstorm in upper Punjab including Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Gujranwala, Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar, Kohat, Mardan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir during next 12 hours.