Long-term sustainable plan needed for Dhaka
Golam Mostafa Jibon: Over 40 lakh people in Dhaka city have been facing extreme sufferings from water stagnation for the last few years due to dilapidated condition of drainage system.
Lack of long-term and sustainable initiatives by the authorities concerned of both the city corporations to resolve the crisis is blamed for the prevailed situation.
City dwellers are apprehending that, the situation will be worsened in the upcoming rainy days, if necessary steps are not taken right now.
Sources said, over 20 lakh of people in Dhaka-Narayanganj and Demra (DND) have already been marooned by the stagnated water caused by heavy rains in the last few days.
People of the area have been suffering for the last two decades and now they want to get rid from the curse of water logging, but to no effect.
Experts said, canals were the main means of water removal in the city. But, most of the canals have been filled up with the illegal grabbers and pollution of wastes. Due to lack of water removal, most of the city roads and footpaths go under water resulting severe traffic congestion. Many vehicular also meet tragic accidents at places.
According to the sources, seven projects were undertaken for infrastructure development in Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC). Of them, three projects are still incomplete in which the drainage system has become dilapidated.
On the other hand, people are throwing away the discarded masks and Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) on the roadsides without burning or dumping at proper places. Most of the used masks and PPEs are going to drains and halted water movement smoothly.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives has also undertaken a project with the titled “Construction and Development of Road Infrastructure and Drainage System” in 16 newly included wards of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) this year.
The cost has been estimated at Tk 4025.62 crore. Although, the works of different mega projects are going on amidst corona pandemic, the city corporation authorities kept the works shut down that causes suffering to the city dwellers in the beginning of monsoon.
According to a joint report of DSCC and Dhaka WASA, there are 48 water stagnation prone areas in DSCC. All the stagnated water is removed from the areas through only five routes. But, the five water removal ways are now in dilapidated condition due to unplanned dumping of city wastes.
According to DSCC sources, mega projects were undertaken for various development projects including drainage system in these areas.
Some 131.43 Km of roads, 25.40 Km of footpaths, 130.17 Km of drains, 9.272 Km of road development to remove water logging in Shantinagar area, renovation of 11.402 Km footpath, construction of 11.72 Km drain, installation of 38,098 LED lights and construction of six new foot-over bridges among others were significant among the mega project involving at Tk 1,216.55 crore.
Besides, several development projects have been undertaken by the DSCC at a cost of Tk 773.99 crore.
But, most of the works have remained hang-off on the plea of corona pandemic that mounting sufferings to the city dwellers. Besides, the ongoing works of Metro rails and flyovers have added woes.
The Dhaka-Narayanganj-Demra DND project was launched in 1986 with 8,340 hectares of land for agricultural work. In the middle of 2018, the government undertook the development project of DND area at a cost of around Tk 550 crore.
City dwellers urged the authorities concerned to take immediate steps to remove water logging in the city to ensure smooth movement of vehicles and pedestrians.