LAHORE - Tuesday’s rain exposed district administration’s claim to have braced for rainy spell. Water and Sanitation Agency took its broken machinery to some ‘elite’ spots to get rainwater drained out. However, low lying areas of northern city wore a pond-like look, where residents drained out the stormwater on self help basis.

The rains disturbed normal routine life in urban areas as the rainwater inundated on portions of roads and roadsides. Massive traffic jams were witnessed on important inter and intra city roads due to accumulation of rainwater roadsides and slippery conditions.

It is also learnt that Wasa de-silted all the main drains of the city around nine years ago in 2006, but no new initiative in this regard was taken by Wasa afterwards.

The sanitation agency had at that time launched Rs789 million mega project in January 2006 with the assistance of the Japanese government which provided 51 modern machines and trucks for field operations.

After that Lahore Waste Management Company conducted a survey of drains in 2013 in order to de-silt all the city drains on the same pattern of the de-silting campaign of 2006. But no such campaign could be started.

A spokesman of LWMC said that there was a network of primary, secondary and tertiary open drains in Lahore to drain out storm and wastewater. These tertiary drains get silted with the soil and other particles which find their way into these drains due to blowing winds and throwing of waste by inhabitants etc. The silt in the drains not only affects free flow of water but also reduces water carrying capacity of drains. The situation aggravates in the monsoon season every year, he said.

He said the solid waste excavated from the drains included clothes, bottles, shopping bags, metallic pots, machinery parts, broken furniture, sand, crushed stones, blankets, quilts, broken cycles and even dead animals. He further stated that damaging the drains was an illegal act punishable under sections 33 and 34 of the LDA Act. He said the violators were fined, but he did not know if any violator was ever imprisoned for littering the drains.