Rawalpindi/Islamabad - Heavy rain along with hailstorm caused troubles to citizens as rainwater inundated low-lying areas of Rawalpindi and turned several dilapidated roads, including Benazir Bhutto Road where construction work of metro bus project is under way, into muddy tracks.

Likewise, the ongoing spell of rain has badly affected some parts of Islamabad, especially the areas where the metro bus project is underway. In the garrison city, the worried situation indulged the motorcyclists, vehicle owners and pedestrians into disarray. The darkness covered the city even during the daytime due to thick dark clouds.

In several areas, mounds of filth and waste dumped by the locals were seen floating on roads, exposing the poor performance of civic bodies. Similarly, the sewerage system got chocked in many areas.

Luckily, no incident of roof or wall collapse occurred anywhere in the division, informed a high-up of Rescue 1122 on Wednesday. The rain also dropped the mercury and citizens in urban areas thronged hot coffee, soup, pakora and samosas shops to enjoy chilly weather.

However, the vendors and hand-push cart owners claimed that rain affected their business badly. Traffic got jammed on roads due to rain despite wardens’ hectic efforts to smoothen its flow.

The hilly areas like Murree and Natyha Galli received heavy snow and a large number of tourists also started visiting the places.  According to details, heavy rain with hailstorm submerged several low-lying areas in the division and turned the roads and streets into pools of water, causing troubles for citizens. The rainwater entered the houses and damaged households in many areas.

The localities where rainwater inundated the streets and roads included Javed Colony, Chaman Zar, Arya Mohalla, Usman Pura, Imambara Chowk, Asghar Mall Scheme, Shakrial, Kuri Road, Dhoke Kala Khan, Muslim Town, Bandh Khana Road, Airport Road, Dhoke Hafiz, Shah Khalid Colony, Gulzar-e-Quaid, Rawal Road, Commercial Market, Fauji Colony, Adyala Road, Dhoke Juma, Caltex Road, Dhamial, Hayyal, Chakri Road, Siham, Chehan, Bakra Mandi, Dhoke Syedan, Tulsa, Ali Town, Khatana, Sher Zaman Colony, Dhama Syedan, Dhoke Baba Meeran Mustafa, Jawa, Jorian, Dhoke Noor, Meera Mohra, Shahpur, Chakra, Pirwadhai, Peshawar Road, and IJ Principal Road.

The rainwater also accumulated on metro bus project track on BB Road, flyovers at Pirwadhai area and on Airport Road, triggering a massive traffic jam. Many vehicles bumped into one another after slipping on muddy tracks.

Criticising the civic authorities and government severely, a resident of Waris Khan Wasif Chaudhry said that rainwater gushed out in his street making the area no-go zone for people. He said that the delay in MBS project was also doubling their miseries.

Most of the citizens termed accumulation of rainwater on roads and in the streets a failure of part of district government and WASA. They said that civic bodies had failed to tackle the situation.

Meanwhile in the federal capital, the rain badly affected some areas where the metro bus project is underway. Before the start of rains, there were some temporary crossings over Ninth Avenue, but the heavy downpours has washed away such crossings. The excavations work done by executing agencies for metro bus turned into pools of water and hence have become dangerous for vehicular movement.

The rain badly affected the vehicular movement in the city. The already insufficient routes were further affected by the rain and traffic jams and long queues of vehicles were witnessed everywhere in the federal capital. Over Faisal Avenue, long queues of vehicles were observed, especially at busy hours when the students return homes from their educational institutions or late in the evening when people were commuting between offices and residences.

Not only the vehicular movement but flight schedule was also disturbed by the bad weather. The passengers were compelled to wait for hours at the airport for their flights. Due to heavy rain and hailstorm, Benazir International Airport suspended its flight operation for some time. However, flight operation was restored later.

Daily-wagers gathered at Pindora Chungi and Peshawar Morr were upset with the rain as they were unable to get any work due to rain. “For the last three days we have been without any earning,” said Ahmad Shah, one of the daily-wagers.

According to officials involved in the construction work of metro bus service, the current rain spell will further delay the work on the project. Some excavated areas have turned into pools of waters. “Due to mud, the work will remain disturbed for a few days,” one of the officials said and added, “If rain spell continues for long, the work will be delayed further.” 

According to Met Office, more rain and thunderstorm with snowfall over the hills are expected in scattered places of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Upper KP and Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir. During the last 24 hours, Garhi Dupatta received 98 mm, Malam Jaba 82 mm, Lower Dir 59mm, Kalam and Saidu Sharif 51mm, Peshawar41 mm, Rawalpindi 21mm and Murree received 20mm of rain.