Rain brings miseries to city life

Clockwise from top left, vehicles move along an inundated road at Dainik Bangla; people face extreme sufferings as Nazimuddin Road goes under water; rainwater enters households at Shamimbagh of Matuail and water-stagnation in the same area disrupts life after hours of monsoon rain on Wednesday. — Sanaul Haque and Indrajit Ghosh

Hours of monsoon rain sent under water almost all thoroughfares, lanes and by-lanes in capital on Wednesday, triggering severe terrific congestion that disrupted city life.
Rainwater intruded into residences, business houses in many areas of the city while many people could not go out due to 73 millimetre rain during 24 hours till 9:00am on the day.
City dwellers have blamed haphazard road digging and poor management of city drainage for their suffering from water-logging since the monsoon began in mid-June.
‘Light or heavy rain, we all alike suffer due to water-logging during monsoon,’ said Ariful Islam, a resident of Malibagh area.
Local people at Rajarbagh, Mirpur, Jatrabari, Rampura, Badda and Agargoan alleged that their sufferings were due more to the negligence of city authorities as many of the drains and roads in their area were under construction while some drains were earth-filled due to poor management.
Sewage mixed with rain water fills the areas with bad odour while garbage and wastes from open dustbins get mixed with the rainwater, locals say.
Both the city corporation mayors of Dhaka last year repeatedly committed to giving the city people respite from water-stagnation by this year and announced their massive plan of action.
Following the commitment, both Dhaka North City Corporation and Dhaka South City Corporation initiated tasks including construction and repair of drainage lines, reclamation of city canals and raising public awareness.
DSCC additional chief engineer Asaduzzaman told New Age that they had taken massive initiatives to address public sufferings but they were yet to complete all the tasks for various reasons.
‘A total of 239-kilometre drain was constructed while more 280 kilometres were under construction,’ he said, adding that public sufferings increased for the irresponsibility of other government agencies.
He explained that Malibagh, Mouchak and Magbazar area people were suffering for flyover construction and Matuail, Jurain, Shempur and Jatrabari area people were suffering for Bangladesh Water Development Board, state-run organisation responsible for maintain the Dhaka-Narayanganj-Demra dam.
During visits to different
areas of both the cities, New Age found drains adjacent to Rokeye Sarani, Mirpur Road, Gabtoli Road, Pragati Sarani, Dhaka-Demra road and others half done and hampering water flow.
Locals alleged drainage system totally collapsed since the construction began.
DNCC additional chief engineer Kudrat Ullah said that people would suffer this year as they could not begin construction of the drains in time due to various problems and hoped that they would get relief after December.
He blamed metro rail project for the sufferings of people at Mirpur’s Kazipara, Shewrapara, Taltala and nearby areas.
Bangladesh Institute of Planners general secretary Mahmud Akhter observed that water stagnation increased as most of the city canals were grabbed.
He also emphasised smooth water flow and planned development in a comprehensive way.
About the monsoon time construction work, he said the city corporation should not allow any agencies to dig city roads during the rainy season.
Dhaka north city mayor Annisul Huq said he had no ability to reclaim city canals as the grabbers were powerful.
Dhaka south city mayor Mohammad Sayeed Khokon in January launched eviction drives to reclaim all 11 canals under the cooperation but the drives came to a halt after a drive against the grabbers of Nandipara Khal.

Source: New Age

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