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Striving to bury the ghost of waterlogging

FE REPORT | December 09, 2019 12:00:00

The people of Chattogram are yet to be freed from waterlogging during the rainy season. The government undertook several projects to solve the waterlogging problem permanently in 2018. The work on the projects is still continuing. After completion of a project in 2020, Chattogram may be free from this vexing problem.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed the authorities to solve the problem permanently. To that end, the government undertook two mega projects-the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) project involving Tk 25.95 billion (2,595 crore) and the mega project of Chattogram Development Authority (CDA) involving Tk 60 billion in April 2018, the work on which is continuing till now.

The BWDB has undertaken another project involving Tk 25.95 billion. Executive Engineer of BWDB Biddut Kumar Shaha said, "BWDB has undertaken a project worth over Tk 25.94 billion to make the port city free from waterlogging. The project will be completed by June 2021."

"Under the project, the BWDB will construct sluice gates, dig and dredge the canals. The pump houses which will be set up under the project in the city will help address waterlogging," he added.

He further said, "Besides, the BWDB will construct a city protection wall on the right side of the Karnaphuli under the project. The project has already been approved by a pre-ECNEC meeting and the work on the project will start after approval by the ECNEC."

On the other hand, the Engineering Corps of Bangladesh Army started working on the mega project of the CDA on April 24 2018. The then Chairman of CDA Abdus Salam inaugurated the work as the chief guest by digging and cleaning the Chashma channel on that day.

With approval of the 'canal re-excavation, extension, renovation and development to resolve waterlogging in Chattogram city', the government directed the authorities to implement the project in an integrated manner.

The LGRD, Housing and Public Works, and Water Resources ministries and the Chattogram City Corporation have been involved in the project instead of giving the responsibility to the CDA alone. The project will be implemented by June 2020. According to the development project proposal (DPP), waterlogging has become one of the major problems of the port city as its residents face deluge during monsoon every year, making their lives miserable.

In the current year the CDA with the help of the Bangladesh Army has removed a total of 1,586 illegal establishments from 21 canals so far after starting the eviction drive on July 2 last.

CDA Chairman Jahirul Alam Dovash said, "We will recover all canals of Chattogram from illegal occupation. The CDA in association with Bangladesh Army will recover 123 acres of land of the canals which have been illegally occupied by influential quarters."

Executive Engineer of CDA and Project Director of the mega project Ahamed Mainuddin said, "The CDA will evict all illegal establishments from the banks of 21canals as well as recover all land of 13 canals of Chattogram. The eviction drive will continue from morning to afternoon every day. The eviction drive will continue for next two months."

The CDA has already removed a total of 131 establishments from Noa Canal, 132 from Chaktai canal, 82 from Dom canal, 129 from Rajakhali 1 canal and 12 from Rajakhali 2 canal. Besides, 46 establishments have been removed from Bamonshahi canal, 55 establishments from Hijra canal, 70 establishments from Moheshkhali canal, 61 from Mirja canal, 81 from Mohesh canal, 337 from Goinachara canal, 21 from Khondokia canal, 44 from Morium Bibi canal, 52 from Tekpara canal, 27 from Korabagicha canal, 97 from Tripura canal, 10 from Sadarghat-1 canal, 16 from Sadarghat 2 canal, 107 from Rajakhali-3 canal, 55 from Nasir canal and 20 from Shitol Jhorna canal.

Project Director Lieutenant Colonel Shahe Ali said, "The eviction drive started on July 2 and it will continue to evict all illegal establishments from all canals. We, the Bangladesh Army, is cooperating with the CDA to evict all illegal establishments from the canals of Chattogram."


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