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Bangladesh - June 10, 2021

Never ending digging causes water logging

Woes to city dwellers

Golam Mostafa Jibon: Unplanned digging at here and there in the name of development works has caused of water logging at different places in the capital that adds immense sufferings to the city dwellers.
Lack of coordination between the utility service providing organizations including City Corporations, WASA and Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company is the main among many other reasons behind such water logging and sufferings, locals complained.
Besides, lack of timely renovation of drains is another cause of suffering.
Sources said, sufferings of the residents at different areas in the capital due to unplanned road digging have taken serious turn. But, the digging is not ended, though day after days and months after months are passed.
This unplanned digging in the name of different development works continues throughout the year. Most of the city roads have turned into death traps due to dilapidated condition caused by water stagnation from a little rain. Vehicles are meeting tragic accidents claiming many lives. Besides, many vehicles are being damaged due to the accidents.
Though, both the city corporation mayors are making one after another commitments assuring to alleviate the sufferings, their assurances are not coming to help for the city dwellers due to lack of political will.
Locals said, Aedes mosquitoes are expanding breeding in the stagnated water that adding another woe to the residents. But, those concerned have no headache to alleviate these sufferings. They complained that, the authorities concerned and contractors are not paying heeds to the rules regarding the excavations. It may be mentioned that apart from Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), development works of various organizations including Metro Rail, Elevated Expressway, Flyover project are underway on the important 400 Km roads in the capital.
In this circumstance, most of the roads are getting muddy and wet making the city life miserable caused by light rains.
Although, unplanned development activities are one of the major reasons for water-logging, the authorities have always been indifferent. Not only lack of coordination, but also lack of planning and foresight in the development work of the two city corporations and other service providers are also responsible for it.
When the Dhaka City Corporation was split in 2011, it was said that the main purpose of the division was to provide better civic services.
Not only that, this time the mayors assured the city dwellers that they will not have to face the problem of water-logging further. But, all this was a futile promise, the people of the capital felt it tremendously again during the rains of the last few days.
According to the road excavation policy, road excavation in Dhaka city is supposed to be stopped from April 30 to October 30, but in reality, it is important to find the answer to the question of why this policy is not being followed. What is the rationale for formulating a policy or law, if it is not properly enforced, many questioned.
Sadly, even though the public life of the capital comes to a standstill every year due to water stagnation, no effective measures are being taken to overcome it.
It can be seen that the traffic system of the capital is not only disrupted due to the water-logging caused by the continuous rains in the monsoon, people of different classes and professions including workers and students are stuck in the streets.
Although, the rainy season appears as a reflection of misery in front of the city dwellers every year, it is not getting rid from it mainly due to lack of coordination, unplanned and short-sighted action of the concerned people. Of course, the unconsciousness of the city dwellers is also responsible for this, experts said.
Despite spending crores of Taka every year in the name of development, the city dwellers are not getting any benefit from it. Although, 26 canals, 3,000 Km of drains and reservoirs in the capital have been handed over to the city corporations from WASA, they are being repeatedly filled up with garbage that inevitably creating water-logging.
At present, there are two elected mayors in two Dhaka City Corporations. Councilors are with them. They should focus on improving the city’s drainage system and keeping it clean at all times under the integrated development project.
At the same time, it is important to excavate the rivers around the capital and make arrangements for drainage. There is no doubt that, if this happens, the life of the city dwellers will be tied to the surface of the annual water-logging.
When asked about the plight of the people after the roads were dug, Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor barrister Sheikh Fazle-Noor-Taposh said, “We have taken some decisions to keep the digging activities suspended during the monsoon in a bid to reduce sufferings of the commuters. We have to go ahead with some appropriate plans in which such situations are not created in future.”
The mayor added that the digging of the roads has created huge number of potholes. Rain accumulates water in these holes. Aedes mosquitoes breed in clear water. We have this in mind. We have already instructed everyone involved in the work to take measures so that water does not freeze in the pit under any circumstances.
City Corporations’ sources said, there are around 2,269 kilometers of roads under the two city corporations of the capital. However, many roads are not always passable. The city corporations, WASA and other service provider organizations continue digging on roads under the pretext of development works several times.
Road digging began a few months before the government announced its annual budget. Then, no other company could be found to properly repair the roads.
Most of the roads in Khilgaon, Shahjahanpur, Malibagh, Goran, Badda, Rampura and Sabujbagh areas of the city have been excavated on the plea of development works including work of metro rail. This condition lasts for months. None of the companies, which are digging the roads and the contractors, who are involved with the development works, are paying attention to any regulations. Consequently, the sufferings of the city dwellers are mounting day by day, many said.

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