Shahbaz warns officials on accumulation of rainwater in city

CM Shahbaz Sharif

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that stern action will be taken against the officials responsible if rainwater accumulated anywhere in the provincial capital.

Presiding over a meeting regarding arrangements for monsoon and disposal of rainwater, he said that he wanted results and would not be satisfied merely with reports.He said that had the system been functioning properly, the rainwater would not have remained standing on the roads for a long time even after heavy rain and people would not have faced difficulties.He said that elected representatives and government officers should ealisetheirresponsibilities and make the best arrangements for the quick disposal of rainwater.

He said that it was regrettable that the departments concerned and institutions had not made satisfactory arrangements for the drainage of rainwater. He said that had the departments been working in a coordinated manner the citizens would not have faced inconvenience.Provincial Minister Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor, parliamentarians belonging to Lahore, departments secretaries, heads of development institutions, the Lahore division commissioner and district coordination officer attended the meeting.

The chief minister expressed his dissatisfaction over the rainwater disposal arrangements and the capacity of the staff concerned in this regard in the wake of torrential rain and reprimanded the officers over the accumulation of rainwater at some places in the city.Issuing a warning to the officers to improve their performance, he said that he wants results. He said that improvement of the system was a collective responsibility and rainwater should not remain standing in any area for long.

He directed Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) to improve the arrangements for the drainage of water and said that machinery should remain fully operational and presence of entire staff at the disposal stations should be ensured at any cost. He said that accumulation of water not only in low-lying areas but posh areas as well poses a big question about the efficacy of drainage system.

He said that submersion of low-lying areas in rainwater was a proof that practical measures had not been taken due to which citizens had to face serious problems due to heavy rain and traffic jams. The chief minister directed that proper and effective planning should be made for the drainage of rainwater and immediate steps should be taken for removal of shortcoming in this regard.He directed that development agencies should work in a coordinated manner as water disposal arrangements during Ramazan assume greater importance.He said that the disposal of rainwater within the stipulated time should be ensured at any cost. He further directed WASA authorities to ensure arrangements for the disposal of rainwater and no drain should remain choked.

The chief minister took serious notice of accumulation of rainwater in Lakshmi Chowk and other areas and described it as criminal negligence on the part of the officials concerned. He said that maximum resources should be utilised for the drainage of rainwater from low-lying areas.Shahbaz also constituted a committee comprising MNA Pervaiz Malik and senior officials of the Punjab government to submit recommendations within a day regarding disposal of rainwater from the city. – Dailytimes