Thursday, January 17, 2019 | ePaper

Yet no respite from waterlogging

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NEWS and photographs published in different dailies speak about the continuous sufferings of the city-dwellers as the city's major thoroughfares go under deep water after a few hours rain. Waterlogging in Dhaka is a common problem. But the government is completely nonchalant to the sufferings while lack of coordination among different ministries and division exacerbates the plight. People want to get rid of waterlogging instead of listening to the fairytale of development.
Rainwater is carried through natural canals and large concrete pipes to floodplains and rivers, but as most of the canals have been grabbed by the encroachers or clogged with solid wastes, the city streets are submerged even after a little rain. Moreover, according to experts, the city's storm-water drainage system is inadequate and is only capable of dealing with 20mm of rainfall and the streets get waterlogged if the rainfall exceeds 40mm. So, Dhaka needs a complete drainage network in which the canals, water retention areas, floodplains, and rivers would collect, carry and retain rainwater. These will be connected with each other. According to the Flood Action Plan and DAP, the city should have 5,523 acres of conserved water retention areas, 20,093 acres of canals and rivers, and 74,598 acres of flood flow zones but most of these wetlands have been filled up.
Despite such unbearable sufferings, commuters and residents do not know how long they will have to wait to see the water logging problem solved as the authorities concerned have never been successful in their efforts to find a permanent solution. The sewerage system, water pumps, canals, and rivers are maintained mainly by seven government bodies. Experts said there is a serious lapse of coordination among the organizations.
In our observation, immediate action needs to be taken to recover the lost floodplains, canals, and water flowing areas; otherwise, the situation will keep worsening. It is the duty of the city authorities to clean up the clogged drains and canals and rescue the water bodies inside the city from the land grabbers. The Dhaka City Corporations and Dhaka WASA have to do their development works in coordination with each other to emancipate city dwellers from the sufferings of waterlogging.

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