LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that stern action will be taken against the officials responsible if rainwater accumulated anywhere in the provincial metropolis.

He was presiding over a meeting regarding arrangements for monsoon and disposal of rainwater, on Sunday.

The chief minister said he wanted results and would not be satisfied merely with reports. He said had the system been functioning properly the rainwater would not have remained standing on the roads for a long time even after heavy rain and people would not have faced difficulties.

He said elected representatives and government officers should realise their responsibilities and make the best arrangements for the quick disposal of rainwater. He said it was regrettable that the concerned departments and institutions had not made satisfactory arrangements for the drainage of rainwater. He said had the concerned departments been working in a coordinated manner the citizens would not have faced inconvenience.

Shahbaz Sharif expressed his dissatisfaction over the rainwater disposal arrangements and the capacity of the concerned staff in this regard in the wake of torrential rain on Saturday and reprimanded the concerned officers over the accumulation of rainwater at some places in the provincial metropolis. Issuing a warning to the officers to improve their performance, he said he wanted results.

“Improvement of the system is a collective responsibility and rainwater should not remain standing in any area for long”, the chief minister added. He directed Wasa to improve the arrangement for the drainage of water and said machinery should remain fully operational and presence of entire staff at the disposal stations should be ensured at any cost. He said accumulation of water not only in low lying areas but also in posh areas posed a big question about the efficacy of drainage system.

The chief minister directed that proper and effective planning should be made for the drainage of rainwater and immediate steps should be taken for removal of shortcoming in this regard. He directed that development agencies should work in a coordinated manner as water disposal arrangements during the holy month of Ramazan assume greater importance. He further directed Wasa authorities to make stand by arrangements for the disposal of rainwater and no drain should remain choked.

Shahbaz Sharif took serious notice of accumulation of rainwater in Lakshami Chowk and other areas and described it as criminal negligence on the part of concerned officials.

He said that maximum resources should be utilised for the drainage of rainwater from low lying areas as there was no justification for accumulation of water on the roads up till now.

He further issued instructions for the capacity-building of Wasa staff and evolving of a complete and comprehensive system for the disposal of rainwater in future.

He directed traffic authorities to make effective arrangements for the uninterrupted flow of traffic on roads during rains so that people should not face any difficulty.

The chief minister also constituted a committee comprising MNA Pervaiz Malik, secretary housing, LDA director general, DCO, Wasa managing director, besides other officers to submit recommendations within a day regarding disposal of rainwater from the City.

Provincial Minister Ch Abdul Ghafoor, members national and provincial assembly, secretaries of concerned departments, heads of development institutions, Lahore Commissioner and DCO attended the meeting.