‘Every government failed to maintain city management’

Canals in the eastern part and the Dhaka-Narayanganj-Demra dam were vanished when different housing firms filled those up in unplanned ways

garbases -Mahmud Hossain Opu (22)

Every single government has failed when it comes to city management in the country, Institution of Diploma Engineers’ Bangladesh (IDEB) President AKMA Hamid said yesterday.

“Not only the present government but also other governments, including those from the historic period, failed in city management affairs. The present waterlogging problem in Dhaka and Chittagong is a glaring example of that,” he said.

Hamid was addressing a seminar on waterlogging arranged by IDEB which was held at its headquarters in the capital.

IDEB Dhaka district unit President Engineer Khabir Hossain chaired the programme while Hasan Mahmud, former environment minister, also spoke.

Hamid said: “Faulty drainage of Dhaka Wasa and unplanned urbanisation of Rajuk are the key reasons for waterlogging in Dhaka, which was also observed in Chittagong.”

He also lambasted Wasa for dependency on groundwater, saying: “Dhaka city is facing constant risk as Wasa keeps extracting groundwater.”

Hasan Mahmud said the urban areas were developed in ways that had negatively affected the environment, resulting in a number of crises such as waterlogging.

“We should take environment-friendly initiatives in every sector, otherwise we would be facing a range of hazardous situations in the coming days,” he added.

Engineer Kazi Habib Ullah, a member of IDEB research cell, presented the keynote paper at the seminar.

“In general, the nature, type and intensity of waterlogging depends on a city’s geographical location and topography but in our country, this is a man-made hazard. Reasons for waterlogging in the capital and other cities across the country include filling up of natural waterbodies, canals and rivers in unplanned ways to develop housing projects,” he said.

“Due to unplanned urbanisation, during monsoon, even after a little rain, roads and lanes in different areas in Dhaka and Chittagong go under knee-deep water,” said Habib.

Habib said the waterlogging problem was getting worse day by day because of not addressing drainage and sewerage systems, and unplanned urbanisation and infrastructure development in urban areas.

According to the Detailed Area Plan (DAP), the total area of Dhaka city is 1,528 square kilometres of which 360 kilometres are surrounded by Tongi canal in the north, Turag river in the west, Buriganga river in the south, and Sitalakhya and Balu rivers in the east.

Habib said there are nearly 46 canals in and around the capital, with 26 in the western part being properly maintained.

“Canals in the eastern part and the Dhaka-Narayanganj-Demra dam were vanished when different housing firms filled those up in unplanned ways. This has resulted in poor drainage in the city, which actually creates waterlogging,” he added.

Habibd said Wasa, in order to pump rain water, set up pumping stations in Kallyanpur, Dholaikhal, Goran Chatbari and in 13 spots of the western part, with others being constructed in Kamlapur and Rampura.

“Due to shortage of enough pumping system to drain rain water, waterlogging occurs in the capital,” he said.

He also suggested increasing capacity of pumping stations at different points of flood protection dam built around the capital.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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