LAHORE - Dug up sewers along the under construction development projects in the city are jeopardising the monsoon management.

While more than average rains are expected this monsoon and development work is on in the city, there is high risk of complete urban flooding in the area.

Multan Road is a best example where both sewerage and drainage pipes have been dug up on the route of Orange Line Metro Train project.

“There has been only one rainfall and you can see the damages it has done. There is thick mud all over the place. And the water has accumulated in all the dug up areas,” said Rizwan Khalid, resident of Multan Road near Chowk Yateem Khana.

The supervisor of the project, Bilal Ahmed, displayed a totally different picture. Oblivious to the monsoon hazards, he told The Nation that this project has more pros than cons. “Once this project is complete, we will see its benefits for everyone involved,” he added.

“We have been working on this project for the last six months and in another few months, we will be done with it. 90 percent of the piling has been complete, 50 percent pile shafts and 70 percent of the pile caps have been installed. New sewerage lines will be in place in the next few weeks to deal with the upcoming monsoon situation.

“Rainfall is a natural process and there is hardly anything anyone can do about it. For now, the residents will obviously be facing some issues due to all the construction going on, but this project is for their benefit only,” Bilal further said.

Obviously where there are perks, there are pitfalls as well. But the residents of Multan Road have also been dealing with severe traffic jams for the past six months. The businesses in those areas have been almost dead, with most of the stakeholders forced to shift them elsewhere.

“Our business has been a mere liability for us for the last few months. We hardly have customers in the daytime due to all this construction going on over here. You can see all the puddles of water, which has made it difficult for the pedestrians. Moreover, traffic jams have made our lives harder,” said a salesman of Curtain Palace - a clothing shop near Chowk Yateem Khana.

Another salesman, Khurshid who works in a glass shop, looked rather wary of the ongoing development. “We have only suffered since this project has started. We won’t be earning anything till this project is complete. The project has made poor even poorer and rich even richer. Businesses here have come to a halt,” he regretted.

However, it remains a fact that thousands of people, who were previously not in favour of the project, not use the facility to reach their destination every day. The elite class has very little to do with it, but the working class and labourers have only the Metro Bus as their medium of travel.

Only time will tell whether the Orange Train project will prove to be a relief for the currently suffering residents of the area or not.

FARID KHAN