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'Dhaka city dwellers likely to face worse waterlogging this year'

Govt says it takes steps to minimise sufferings

May 05, 2018 00:00:00

Though the government and authorities concerned assured the city dwellers of facing less waterlogging this season, the recent pre-monsoon showers have exposed that much work needs to be done to keep commuters free from rainwater miseries, reports UNB.

Urban experts fear that things will get worse in case of heavy rains during June and July with many areas getting swamped with rainwater like previous years due to poor drainage system and unplanned city development works.

They think the restoration of the natural drainage network through reclaiming 43 canals from grabbers alongside proper maintenance of the existing drains and their further upgradation with proper plans are necessary to get rid of the capital's perennial waterlogging problem.

As the city dwellers went through immense sufferings over the last few days, the local government ministry formed 10 vigilance teams comprising high officials of the ministry for quick response to waterlogging in the two corporations of the capital.

The ministry also directed the two city authorities and Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Dwasa) to take steps so that rainwater does not remain stagnant in any city area for more than three hours.

At different programmes early this year, Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain and Dhaka Wasa Managing Director Taqsem A Khan assured that the capital will experience lesser waterlogging this season.

Contacted, Khandker Mosharraf said the waterlogging problem could not be improved significantly in the capital despite various steps taken by them as the drainage system here is very outdated.

"We're working to upgrade it."

He said they have already formed a coordination committee involving Dhaka Wasa, authorities of the two cities, Dhaka Deputy Commissioner, Public Works and Water Resources Ministries, Water Development Board and all the departments concerned for quick removal of rainwater.

Local government ministry additional secretary Mahbubur Rahman has been made the head of the committee. Besides, the minister said the 10 vigilance teams are there for quick response to waterlogging in any area of the two cities.

Talking to the news agency, local government ministry additional secretary Roksana Quader said the coordination committee formed to resolve the waterlogging problem has already held several meetings.

"We hope we'll be able to clear rainwater very quickly this time."

She said the Finance Ministry has already given Wasa Tk 200 million for taking steps to control waterlogging.

"Wasa will also be given Tk 200 million further by June and July in this regard."

Besides, Roksana said, they have taken various short, mid and long-term projects to eliminate the waterlogging problem from the city.

A high official at the ministry, wishing anonymity, said they have taken measures for updating the laws and rules of Wasa and two city corporations, and specify their responsibilities to resolve waterlogging and some other city problems in a coordinated way.

He said they have also taken projects to clean up the clogged drains and keep those functional.

Wasa Managing Director Taqsem Khan said there will be no waterlogging this season unless there are heavy downpours.

"The ministry has asked us to remove rainwater by three hours, but we'll do it before that.

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