Islamabad - The Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD) has predicted above average rainfall during monsoon, but the preparations of the authorities at federal capital to cope with any emergency situation are limited to lip service.

The average monsoon rainfall in Islamabad is 790.8 millimetres, however, the PMD claims in 2016 it will be a little higher than 1000 millimetres.

During first spell of monsoon started from June 27, widespread rains with isolated heavy thundershowers accompanied by strong gusty winds are expected in Islamabad, says PMD website.

However, the city decades old damaged drainage system could not meet the requirement of water flow as per average requirement, let alone the expected harsher rain spell than average this year.

In its contingency plan by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has directed concerned departments to take stringent precautionary measures in this season to avoid any damage from the overflowing drains that pass from the almost every sector of the capital city.

The NDMA said focus should be paid on urban flooding like clearance, dredging of drainage system, network, serviceability of sewage disposal stations, serviceability of heavy duty dewatering pumps, backup generators for sewerage disposal, water supply network system as well.

Every year in monsoon spell, the rainwater leaves several main roads of Islamabad flooded with overflowing water because of congested blocked sewerage lines while nullahs are almost chocked at many points due to the dumping of garbage.

Aknas Bibi, a resident of sector G-7 slum, said every year the resident of slum area request the civic agency to take precautionary measures in order to save our houses from monsoon water that rushed in to our houses. Due to no attention paid by the CDA every year we take temporary rental place and shift their during peak monsoon season, she added. Unfortunately, despite several claims, the civic agency CDA has not initiated the work to clean up the drains and proper handling of sewerage causes backflow of the streams flowing across the city.

According to data shared by the Director General Environment Protection Agency EPA in a meeting Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights, currently, the capital city has about 26 small and large streams which take hill torrent and rainwater and pass through different residential sectors and at the end converge into two main streams when they left Islamabad, the main crossing point of these drains and streams through F-6, F-7, F-8, F-10, F-11, G-6, G-7, G-8 and G-9 as well.

In 2014, Salman Khokhar, a young boy from French Colony at F-7/4 slum area had lost life due to an overflowing nullah.

Every year the CDA issue notices to slum dwellers to shift to the safer places during monsoon spell, but they do not follow the safety instructions the civic agency issues, claimed CDA Spokesperson Malik Saleem.

He said due to illegal encroachments along the banks of the nullah’s by the slum dwellers was also the main reason of these human loses.

Saleem said it was a common practice across Islamabad that resident’s throw garbage in seasonal nullah creating hindrances in smooth flow of water during monsoon season,

To identify the most vulnerable points in the monsoon, the civic agency has carried out the survey and launched a campaign to save the vulnerable slum dwellers lying close to streams, Saleem added.

He said the CDA had also established a flood relief cell under the aegis of the Directorate of Emergency and Disaster Management at G-7/1.

The residents of capital can also contact on these two emergency numbers – 16 and 1334 – to launch flood related complaints from June to September. Climate change has changed the pattern of rainfall in the capital city and the city has been witnessing heavy thunderstorm and other environment changes as well.

The writer is a freelance contributor