Saturday, March 24, 2018 | ePaper

Waterlogging in Ctg city must be decisively dealt with

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WITH monsoon only few months from now Chittagong city residents are becoming panicked if they would suffer from severe water stagnation again compared to last years. The fear has reasons because many lost canals were not recovered and those still running narrowly have not been renovated. Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) and Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) always fight over ownership of projects and this in turn is only prolonging waterlogging and city dwellers' agonies as no progress has so far being made in this respect.

Many blame poor coordination between the two agencies tasked to handle water stagnation situation; which takes the city under knee-deep water every year disrupting public life and business. People in the low lying areas become marooned as most roads and residential areas become submerged. City centers like Agrabad, Bakalia, Sholokbohor, Katalganj, Halishahar, Muradpur, Chawkbazar look like islands. In 2017, few hours downpour submerged half of the city forcing public and private transports almost to a halt. 

Everybody knows the plight of the Chittagong city dwellers. This is being a Port City any disruption in the mobility potentially disrupts supply lines with other districts causing business to suffer and prices to go up. The city can't suffer every year. 

We know the government has approved a mega project to remove waterlogging of the Port City at a cost of Tk 5, 616 crore. The concerned authorities have also allocated Tk 500 crore for 2017-18 and Bangladesh Army will help execute the projects that include re-excavation of 57 canals, construction of 12 sluice gates and pump houses on six canals mouth, construction of six culverts, cleaning of 320km drains, construction of 178km retaining wall etc.

We must say the concerned authorities should not wait till the rainy season makes the landfall. They must mobilize the work forthwith. It is no secret that the conflict of interest and ownership of projects between Chittagong City Corporation and CDA is always disrupting projects and going for their implementation. Such projects involve huge expenditure and corrupt officials on all sides are least accommodative to pass their control to other hands. Moreover, powerful quarters are blocking progress least they have to relinquish control over canal land for re-excavation.

We call for an integrated approach by all agencies to implement the waterlogging projects while political will of the ruling party is important to make progress. In our view army must use its power to overcome resistance by powerful people and at the same time monitor proper implementation of the mega project. A good city free from waterlogging will be a good place for all.    

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