Severe water-logging looms large over Dhaka city

A canal at Hazaribagh lies buried under wastes, which have stopped flow of water, leading to water-logging in the area during rainy season. The photo was taken on Tuesday. — Sanaul Haque

Urban experts and residents are in fear of massive water-logging in the capital this year again as the agencies concerned remain as indifferent to the perennial problem as ever.
All the 35 canals of the city have been grabbed fully or partially, leaving the city drainage in a bad shape while development works under Dhaka city corporations started late this year only to add to public sufferings, they say.
Officials admit that it is impossible for them to complete the ongoing development activities in the city before the monsoon beginning in June.
Bangladesh Paribesh Andolan member secretary architect Iqbal Habib finds that the initiatives taken by the authorities will never bring any relief until a massive drive to reclaim the city canals is taken on an urgent basis.
‘It must be ensured that the water flows to river from city via canals,’ he observes.
In defence, Dhaka north city mayor Annisul Huq said they did not reclaim the canals as the canals were not owned by the city corporation.
He blamed negligence of DWASA and Dhaka district administration for not taking actions to evict the grabbers from 23 canals in his jurisdiction area even after repeated appeals.
DWASA managing director Taqsem A Khan, however, said that the city corporations had more vital role to play to make the city free of water-logging.
‘We maintain only 20 per cent of the total drainage lines of the city while city corporations maintain 80 per cent,’ he added.
The DWASA boss blamed the waste management system of the city corporations for failing to stop waste dumping in the canals.
Dhaka south city mayor Mohammad Sayeed Khokon on January 22, after a meeting with different government agencies, had announced that he would reclaimed all 11 nearly disappeared canals of the city in his area.
But the initiative got stalled after the joint force of government agencies including DWASA, Dhaka district administration and Bangladesh Water Development Board demolished over 200 illegal structures on Trimohini Khal at Nandipara on the first day of the drive in February.
During visits to different areas, under the two city corporations, it has been found that almost all the canals have been occupied by encroachers and water can hardly pass through them.
Drainage systems of the capital are also in a mess as these have been dug by the utility agencies.
On Monday, the city people in parts including Malibagh, Santinagar, Kathalbagan, Mogbazar,
Khilgoan suffered a lot due to water-logging while a road caved in at Green Road after only 90 millimetre rain fall recorded in 24 hours in the city .
Meteorologists said that the situation would deteriorate during the monsoon.
Bangladesh Institute of Planners president Professor AKM Abul Kalam thinks that lack of proper network to flush out rain water will make the situation even worse.
Talking to New Age, Kamal underlined the need for levelled drainage lines and free canals to drain out rain water from the city.
Urban disaster risk reduction specialist of Plan International Bangladesh Shahnawaz Whara emphasised government initiatives as well as public awareness to address water-logging.
He expressed fear that Dhaka city people would suffer this year acutely as preparedness was lacking on the part of both the government and general people.
He observed that many drains of the city were blocked because of inconsiderate dumping of wastes.
He said that under ‘Towards Resilient Dhaka Project’ non-government organisation Social and Economic Enhancement Programme announced a part of Kurmitola Slum under DNCC as waste-free zone through community involvement.
The slum people said their initiative not to dump plastic bottles, polythene bags and other waste in the drains yielded good result —no more water-logging in the area.
Bangladesh Meteorological Department assistant meteorologist Md Shaheenul Islam said the average rainfall at Dhaka in April was 144 millimetre but this year 242.2 millimetre rainfall was recorded in the month.
‘Total rainfall would break the previous records in the coming months this year,’ he predicted.

Source: New Age

One Response to Severe water-logging looms large over Dhaka city

  1. Siddique Ahmed

    Why the canal i n hazaribag lies buried under wastes? Are the Urban experts and residents doing anything to stop water logging? Do they know what to do? Do they care to do it? Are they punished for failing in their Job?
    City drainage is bad because Dhaka city corporations started late , why not in time?

    Paribesh Andolan member secretary finds that the initiatives taken by the authorities will never bring any relief until a massive drive to reclaim the city canals is taken on an urgent basis.Are they DNCC Mayors hearing it and doing the needful, or sleeping comfortably.
    ‘It must be ensured that the water flows to river from city via canals,’ he observes.
    Reclaim and make all canals that carry water. Don’t play blame game with WASA and DNCC and Dhaka district administration and coordinate in a a joint action with DNCC command and throw grabbers from 23 canals

    Waste management system of the city corporations for failing to stop waste dumping should be upgraded t o Dhaka’s expanding need and maintained.

    Illegal structures everywhere must be demolished, all filled rivers must be excavated and encroachment removed before monsoon. Thrash out all bureaucratic bottleneck and tame them to follow good governance.People voted you to do or die.All Dhaka should be waste free Zone and waste will go to incinerator.

    Plan, ordinate and emphasize and implement and show no excuse for failure.Future Government will be yours. You don’t need to be boot of leaders. You are young and energetic-You are the future leaders.

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