HYDERABAD - The Mayor Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and the elected lawmakers of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) have accused the Sindh government of ignoring the city as the threat of urban flash flood looms during upcoming monsoon rains. At a press conference at Municipal Garden Latifabad Unit 9 here on Sunday, Mayor Syed Tayyab Hussain said Pakistan Peoples Party’s provincial government continued the policy of discrimination with Hyderabad. “The monsoon rains are on the horizon but the city’s drainage system is marred with numerous problems,” he observed. The mayor said it was responsibility of Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA), a subsidiary of Hyderabad Development Authority (HDA) to keep the pumping machines and power generators at all the drainage pumping stations functional.

He added that WASA was also responsible for cleaning all the nullahs and drains so that in the event of the torrential downpour the rainwater did not submerge the residential and commercial areas. Hussain said the parts of Hyderabad from where the canals pass through were already facing drainage problems because of the large volume of water in the canals. The Mayor said the Sindh Irrigation Department had failed to remove encroachments from embankments of the canals which also required reinforcement because the construction activity had rendered them weak.

“However, so far no measures have been taken to address these issues which could result in inundating parts of Hyderabad with rainwater,” he maintained. He blamed the Sindh government for being an obstacle to empowerment of the local government in Hyderabad which had been deprived of funds and authority. “The problem of solid waste disposal hasn’t been resolved because no landfill site has been made available to dispose of the city’s waste,” he said. The mayor observed that the time for making arrangements on an emergency basis to prevent flash flood during the rainfall was running out. MPAs Rashid Khilji and Nadeem Siddiqui and other local leaders of the MQM-P accompanied the mayor. It may be relevant to mention that Deputy Commissioner Fuad Ghaffar Soomro on June 10 requested the provincial government to grant Rs 200 million funds for rain emergency preparations.