Nullah Leh is a permanent woe for residents of Rawalpindi City. The nullah is for carrying rainwater and it starts from Katarian, crosses through the city and ends into river Sawan at the end of the city short of Rawat.

Before the creation of Pakistan, the city population was low and the Leh was good enough to carry rainwater safely without causing any issues. However, with the passage of time, the problem became bigger every year and flooding of this nullah has since been creating great problems for the residents of the city for decades now. After partition, people from rural areas moved to the city and it became crowded. This population growth led to congestion of the nullah Leh adding to the misery of people of Rawalpindi. To make things worst, the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (1979 to 1987) laid sewer lines throughout the city that all ended into the nullah Leh. 

This was a disaster at many levels as the water was thrown into this rainwater channel without any treatment. This not only polluted the river Sawan, but also put additional load on to a channel meant for rainwater resulting in floods during the Monsoons. The worst part is that because the Leh was not for the purpose of sewerage, when it floods, the water in sewers of the city backs up. 

This contaminates drinking water and spreads the filth of sewers all over the city becoming a huge source of disease and distress for the residents. Many governments in the past have promised to resolve this problem but to no avail. 

I hope and pray that the current setup would pay attention to this issue come up with a plan to address this problem before a big tragedy happens. If we don’t plan in time and fix this issue, I am afraid we may be wondering on how to deal with the tragedy when it hits, just as we are doing in case of Karachi.

RAJA SHAFAATULLAH,

Islamabad.