Dhaka WASA: Deaf, dumb and blind

Dhaka,  Wed,  23 August 2017
Published : 15 Jun 2017, 20:10:27
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OPINION

Dhaka WASA: Deaf, dumb and blind

The problem of water-logging in Dhaka city is now a widely discussed issue because it is rainy season now. When it will be over, the issue of water-logging will be forgotten  until the next rainy season, writes Shamsul Huq Zahid
To facilitate construction of the Tejgaon-Bijoysarani, the military-backed caretaker government acquired 3.4 acres land paying compensation to the owners beside demolishing the Rangs tower in 2007. 

The incumbent government demolished many residential houses, both pucca and kutcha, and even a part of a mosque to widen the 60-feet road connecting city's Agargaon with Mirpur section-2. 

There are scores of instances of land acquisition and demolition of residential houses and other establishments by various government agencies paying compensation to their owners. The acquisition is made to facilitate development projects, including infrastructures. 

But the Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) is an agency that could not acquire in many years a few acres of land for restoring a natural canal, named the Rupnagar Khal in Pallabi-Mirpur area to its original form and ensure an unhindered flow of water through it. Recently the DWASA renamed the canal as the 'Sangbadik Colony Khal'.

The failure on the part of the DWASA is taking a heavy toll on thousands of residents in the area during the monsoon. Roads and a number of residential areas go under knee to waist-deep water as onrushing rain waters cannot pass through the canal because some people have built structures on its path. Besides, most part of the canal has been silted up.

Both print and electronic media ran extensive reports highlighting the water-logging problems in Kalshi area, but the DWASA preferred to ignore it. The Dhaka North City Corporation reportedly raised the issue with the DWASA, but nothing has happened. The WASA could not remove the obstacles to putting the canal in question in its original condition. In fact, the service organisation has never been serious about resolving the problem. 

The major victim of the choked-up canal is the traffic movement through the Kalshi Road, which was widened a few years back at a huge cost. The road that has made the communication between eastern and western parts of the city easy is now one of the busiest. But vehicles remain stranded for hours together since a large part of the road goes under knee to waist-deep water even following a brief shower. The DNCC has been trying its best to solve the problem. But it is not possible without restoring the canal to its original position. 

The residents of a vast area of Mirpur-Pallabi area remained confined to their houses for a long time following heavy downpour on a number of occasions last week. Rain water entered the ground floor of many houses. Except for the residents of the area none can well imagine the plight during monsoon every year. 

There could be alternative solutions to the problem. The construction of a bypass drain to divert a part of the flow could be one solution. But, unfortunately, Dhaka WASA has not been doing anything to solve the problem. 

The problem of water-logging in Dhaka city is now a widely discussed issue because it is rainy season now. When it will be over, the issue of water-logging will be forgotten until the next rainy season. 

zahidmar10@gmail.com



 
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