Dubai: As Karachi becomes a 'disaster zone' after two days of rains during Eid holidays, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has finally stepped in to ease the woes of people in the largest city of Pakistan after at least two dozen people were killed in rain-related incidents.
Out of total 12 killed on Sunday, at least nine people were electrocuted due to messed up electricity supply lines during one of the heaviest downpours in decades making life ‘hell’ in the mega city of more than 20 million people.
After noticing the plight of suffering population and failure of city administration in Karachi, Prime Minister Imran Khan said in his tweet on Monday that he has directed all parliamentarians including members of the national assembly (MNAs) and the members of the provincial assembly (MPAs) from Sindh province to provide all possible help to people affected by the heavy rains. He also announced that the federal government is drafting a comprehensive package to end the decades of neglect and suffering of the people of the great metropolis.
“I have directed all MNAs/MPAs of Karachi to be in their constituencies throughout Eid & Independence Day holidays & provide all assistance to the ppl (people). The Federal Govt is drafting a comprehensive package to end the decades of neglect & suffering of the ppl of this gt (great) metropolis,” Imran tweeted on Monday after reports of sufferings of people in Karachi made headlines on the national media and the government faced harsh criticism on social media.
Prime Minister Imran had to intervene after reports of ‘blame game’ between the Sindh government which is led by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the City administration which is lead of Imran Khan’s political ally Muttahid Qaumi Movement, emerged on the media, making the situation in Karachi even worse.
According to reports in the Pakistani media, at least 12 people including a child lost their lives in rain-related incidents in Karachi on Sunday as the megalopolis experienced heavy monsoon showers since Saturday.
Nine people died of electrocution, while two were killed in roof collapses while dozens of sacrificial animals were also killed during the flooding due to heavy rains.
Television footage shows that all major roads are inaundated with rain water while hundreds of houses have been flooded with water. Life is Karachi was thrown out of gear as the city got paralysed due to heavy rain during the Eid holidays.
The uninterrupted downpour — recorded at almost 200 millimetres (mm) — that had started on Saturday morning created a critical situation in Karachi. Various areas were also hit with hours-long power outages during the rain in different parts of Sindh province.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Sindh leader Khurram Sher Zaman, on Sunday also demanded K-Electric –the electricity provider in Karachi --to pay Rs10 million as compensation to families of victims who died from electric shocks.
Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar who belongs to MQM also said that he would also support people who wanted to file a first information report against K-Electric.
The deluge also caused an electricity breakdown in the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board’s pumping stations, as a result of which the city could not be provided up to 250 million gallons of water.
During the last spell of rain in Karachi on July 29 and 30, at least 20 people were electrocuted to death. NEPRA, the country’s power regulatory authority, has blamed K-Electric for their deaths. It recently ordered the company to pay the victims’ families compensation.
NEPRA says K-Electric’s negligence, incompetence and power transmission system were at fault. Ahead of the rains, K-Electric wrote a letter to the commissioner and other authorities, asking for help during the rain. It asked them to remove water from around electric poles and establish an emergency hotline for better communication.
The rangers were also called in to assist the civil administration in pumping the water out of the inundated streets, an army spokesperson said.
Residents of Karachi have also taken on social media to highlight the plight of the city during heavy rain. Most of them lambasted the city administration and the government for their failure to take appropriate measures before the rain.