With monsoon coming Dhaka dwellers brace for the same old problem: waterlogging.
No effective measure has been taken yet for a comprehensive solution to the long-standing hazard of the mega city.
Experts said a coordinated master plan involving all relevant agencies should have been taken to drain out rainwater from the city roads.
The two city corporations claimed that waterlogging will be less this year as drain, box culvert construction and canal dredging activities are going on for smooth drainage of stagnant rainwater.
Talking to UNB some city dwellers voiced their worry over the waterlogging problem in the upcoming monsoon.
Md Rahimullah, a resident of Moghbazar area, said "Digging of city roads by different service agencies are going on. Movement on these roads will become difficult as these usually get waterlogged after a little rain during monsoon."
"We have to suffer a lot," he lamented.
Mamataj Begum, a housewife of Malibagh area, said "I need to go to Tejgaon to drop and pick up my children to and from a school there. There work on a mega project is going on and the whole area turned inaccessible due to the construction work."
"I fear a dreadful situation will arise there in the upcoming monsoon due to waterlogging."
City corporations' steps to end waterlogging
The Dhaka North and South City Corporations have identified 146 spots where rainwater usually gets accumulated on roads.
According to the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), 104 places prone to waterlogging have been identified. Of these, repair work in more than 99 spots has been completed.
Apart from this, drain, box culvert and canal cleaning activities are underway to reduce waterlogging in the remaining spots.
At DSCC, more than 32 areas are extremely prone to waterlogging- Paltan, Shantinagar, Bailey Road, Kakrail, Gopibagh, Kamalapur, Tikatuli, Agasadek Road, Agamasi Lane, Abdul Hadi Lane, Eskaton Road, Bangabandhu Avenue Awami League Central Office Area, Bangladesh Secretariat,, New Market, Bata intersection, Jhigatala, Nazim Uddin Road, Nawabganj Park, Azimpur, Road adjacent to KM Das Lane, RK Mission Road and Abhay Das Lane Gopibag Bazar Road and some areas of Old Dhaka.
According to the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), there are 103 waterlogging-prone areas under DNCC.
This time, some works have been done in 61 areas to ensure drainage of rainwater and work is underway in the remaining 42 areas.
There are about 30 waterlogging-prone areas under DNCC - Mirpur-10, Mirpur-13, Mirpur Journalist Colony area, Mirpur Kalshi, Airport Road from Army Stadium to Banani, Mirpur Shewra Para, Kazi Para, Monipuripara, Modhubag , Malibagh, Mohammadpur Lalmatia, Kawran Bazar to FDC area adjacent to TCB building, Nakhalpara, Nikunja-1, 2, Green Road, Tejturi Bazar behind Bashundhara City, Bashundhara residential area, Kuril, Badda and Kuril new market area.
DSCC Chief Executive Officer Farid Ahmed (Additional Secretary) told UNB that the renovation work in the remaining waterlogging-prone area is expected to be completed by this month.
"Besides, we have cleared 15 kms of canals under the city corporation. We hope this monsoon waterlogging problem will remain tolerable compared to the previous years," he said.
DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam said this time 10 Rapid Action Teams will be formed for 10 regions under DNCC who will take effective measures fast.
What LGRD minister says
Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives (LGRD) Minister Md Tajul Islam said they are conducting drives to evict illegal establishments from several canals which hamper the smooth drainage of rainwater. "So naturally, we think we are prepared to face the waterlogging problem this time too."
He further said they won't be able to dredge all the canals of Dhaka city before monsoon. Besides, there are rivers like Buriganga, Turag, Dhaleshwari and Balu that need to be dredged.
Adil Mohammad, Professor of Department of Urban and Regional Planning of Jahangir agar University and General Secretary of the Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) said cleaning the drains and canals during the monsoon is not the remedy to waterlogging. "We need a sustainable plan. A temporary solution to waterlogging with small-scale plan will not bring any durable solution."
The city planner further said a master plan has to be taken to permanently free the capital from waterlogging problem. Besides, identifying waterlogging-prone areas, integrated measures should be taken on how to drain out rainwater. "If all the agencies concerned work together, the solution is possible," he said.