Friday, March 23, 2018 | ePaper

Water clogging needs effective plan to overcome

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WATER logging and clogging in city sewerage system during rainy season is seriously endangering city life. After passing days under scorching sun and sweltering heat most people were relieved when rains came. But the downpour in no time became a deluge and many parts of the city were submerged. Instead of enjoying cooler weather from heavy rain, they have to live now in a dirty city with flood and sewage water.

More than Taka 300 crore was spent over the recent years for reducing water logging of the capital. But the results remain quite frustrating as it was before. The questions now automatically arise, where did the money go and how was it spent if there is no physical improvement in the drainage system. What were the two City Corporations doing to counter waterlogging?

By sparing all fake optimism the simple truth is that - it will not be an easy task to clear up the clogged sewerage system. More than two-thirds of Dhaka WASA lacks drainage, and it's up to WASA to recuperate the lost and blocked drainage facilities back. It has to expand its existing system but the million-dollar question is - does WASA know how to do it; has it the capacity and efficiency to upgrade the system? 

Due to the failing drainage system in the city - where most canals have been grabbed or illegally filled up with solid and construction wastes, waterlogging only continues to grow. Two City Corporations and WASA are mainly responsible for quick discharge of water and for that matter proper maintenance of drainage lines across the city. But they have hardly ever regretted of their failures.

As per City Corporation Statistics, there are around two-and-a-half thousand ditches and water bodies across the city and powerful people have grabbed them. What is foremost important is to recover them and excavate them to quickly run out rain and sewerage water before it can submerge city streets and housing blocks.

We must say making new projects and spending money to remove water clogging has become part of bigger institutional corruption. The concerned authorities must know this is not the solution. The government must have political will to evict party men from illegal occupation and there must be collective efforts for that. About 65 crucial city canals are now illegally occupied.

Improper maintenance and rampant disposal of solid waste into city drains are also responsible for water clogging Sadly, unlike other global cities Dhaka city's expansion has not only been disproportionately vertical but also dangerously unplanned. The government's repeated defiance of warning from city planners has even failed to save the Detailed Area Plan (DAP) of Dhaka city Most free water flow zones and water bodies around the city are now occupied by real estates companies blocking drainage system all around. The situation will deteriorate if the government apathy to intervene continues.

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