The city dwellers were once again gripped by severe waterlogging during the last weekend. The problem went to such an extent that many commuters were found wading through stagnant water on main roads. Others suffered immensely because of thin presence of vehicles on the roads. Apart from that, it also put a damper on trade and commerce in the capital city. The waterlogging, triggered by incessant heavy rains on Thursday, continued into the next day, which was a weekly holiday. The city's New Market was found dipped in stagnant water at least until noon on Friday, though it was supposed to be a busy day for the traders there. Not only the New Market, many other areas of this sprawling metropolis grappled with the same problem. The waterlogging just added to the woes of the city dwellers, who were already counting the cost of unplanned digging of roads by utility service providers and others for different purposes.
These days utility service providers take longer time than needed earlier for doing their work. If they start a work, they do not do it quickly. In many cases it so happens that they do the work round the year. They dig the roads and leave them in that state for a long time. Then they return to install the drainage pipes. They again go back without completing the work. In such a situation nobody knows when the work will end. What is certain is that the people are left to bear the brunt of the unplanned and lingering digging of roads. It leaves a telling effect on business.
Let's cite an example. One trader in Old Dhaka invested Tk 1.0-1.2 million, the life savings of his mother, to open a shop. As soon as he started trading, the road in front of the shop was dug for installation of pipes and the rubbish heaped on the road left it blocked. So his lost his customers and were incurring losses. After several months he chose to wind up his business to stem the losses he was incurring. So, any lengthy road work not only causes trouble to the commuters but also leaves the adjacent businesses faced with their moment of truth. Those who are doing the development work in the city should always bear this in mind.
Reportedly the authorities are planning a water retention pond in Dhaka's Kalyanpur area. It will help solve the waterlogging problem and also serve as an ecological breathing space in the chaotic city. The project will also cover Mohammadpur, Gabtoli, Darus Salam and a portion of greater Mirpur. It will be designed in a way that it will contain water for a minimum of 8-10 hours during the monsoon period. Pumps will also be installed to drain the extra water into the Buriganga.
For the sake of development, we have destroyed our environment. We might have not needed to construct a water retention pond in the city, if we could protect our environment while doing the development work. This city had its own environment -- it had its ponds, canals and greenery. But we have killed them mindlessly. Now we are facing the problems like air pollution, waterlogging, etc. We are bearing the brunt of unplanned development.