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Climate - June 19, 2022

Reservoir filling continues in city

DAP gazette hanging

Mahfuz Emran: Two government agencies, Bangladesh Railway and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are not abiding by them. They are filling their own reservoirs. The government supervision agencies are not very active in this regard.
According to the city planners, the reservoirs are being filled in front of the eyes of the city authorities. This makes it clear why Dhaka has failed to build a sustainable and livable city. Now, if Dhaka’s detailed zoning plan (DAP) fails to be implemented and the rule of law is not established to protect reservoirs and reservoirs, Dhaka can no longer be saved.
Meanwhile, the Gazette of Detailed Area Planning (DAP) has been finalized to make Dhaka livable. Six months ago, it was sent to the Prime Minister’s Office for approval. But it has not been approved yet. Meanwhile, real estate traders have written a letter to the Prime Minister objecting to DAP.
The Dhaka Metropolitan Master Plan, Dhaka Detailed Area Plan (DAP) and the Reservoir Conservation Act are of special importance for the conservation of reservoirs in the capital. It has been said that these reservoirs play an important role in reducing waterlogging in the city. It also enhances the beauty of the city. For this reason, filling these is a legally and punishable offense.Although there are such guidelines in the country’s customary law.
Railway allocates water bodies
Bangladesh Railway has reservoirs of 1.64 acres in the area adjacent to Kuril Ural Road in the capital. A few years ago, they allotted the reservoir site to a private company for the construction of a multi-storey hotel. According to them, the filling started by throwing sand and soil last January. In protest, the locals staged a human chain on January 26 in Kurile. Upon receiving the news, DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam rushed to the spot.
At his direction, the DNCC removed the hotel’s signboard and billboard. Later, Director General of Railways Dhirendra Nath Majumder admitted that it was wrong to allocate water bodies. He said that the place in Kuril is the property of the railway. But it was mentioned as a reservoir in the Dhaka Metropolitan Master Plan, Dhaka Detailed Area Plan (DAP), Reservoir Conservation Act. It was not known to the railways. After knowing the matter, the Railways has moved away from the decision.
Recently, it has been seen on the ground that there are eight to ten water bodies around the Kuril flyover. When there is heavy rain in that area, rain water flows and freezes in all the water bodies. As a result, there is no waterlogging on the road. Due to these reservoirs, the natural beauty of the area is many times more than other areas of the city.
Jasim Uddin, a resident of Kuril, said there was no waterlogging in the area as there were water bodies in Kuril. Many people go for walks in these water bodies in the morning and afternoon.
CAAB filling reservoir in Ashkona
Ashkona area is three kilometers north of Kuril. There are many reservoirs and reservoirs in this area.Recently, it has been seen on the ground that these reservoirs and reservoirs are being filled with sand. But there was no banner with any information about what will be done after filling the reservoir. Besides, the three reservoirs in front of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport are also being filled.
Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) Chairman Air Vice MarshalMofidul Islamdon’t hold call on his mobile phone to know the matter. Other officials in his office declined to comment.
An official at CAAB, who did not want to be named, said there were now four or five large reservoirs near the airport’s third terminal. These have been filled for the construction of the Third Terminal. The reservoirs being filled in Ashkona area will have multi-storied buildings.
But nobody cares about DAP or reservoir conservation law.
Ashkona and Kuril flyovers – both areas are under Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC). Asked about this, DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam told, “We have taken initiative to conserve the reservoirs of the city.” No one will be allowed to fill reservoirs in the city outside the Capital Development Authority’s (RAJUK) detailed zoning plan (DAP).
As the filling of water bodies in Kurile has been stopped recently, a campaign will be launched soon to stop filling of water bodies in Ashkona.
He said that if there is waterlogging on the city roads, everyone blames the city corporation. But no one makes room for rainwater removal. The reservoirs are filling up like that. A city can’t function without such mismanagement.
According to the Bangladesh Institute of Planners, an average of 5,656 acres of wetlands are lost from the two city corporation areas of Dhaka city every year. In the Dhaka metropolitan area, 9,556 acres of water bodies have been filled with 3,463 acres. Thus canals, reservoirs and ponds are disappearing due to influential occupiers.
On May 22, the Institute for Planning and Development (IPD) issued a statement calling for stopping the filling of all reservoirs in Dhaka, including the Ashkona reservoir, to save the city dwellers from waterlogging.
The statement said that the reservoir is being filled in violation of the law. Filling of such reservoirs by government institutions is unjust. Dhaka can’t be saved in any way if the detailed area plan (DAP) of Dhaka fails to be implemented and the rule of law is not established to protect the reservoirs and reservoirs.
IPD Executive Director Adil Mohammad Khan is teaching in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Jahangirnagar University. He is also doing research on parks, fields, open spaces and wetlands in Dhaka city.
When asked, Adil Mohammad Khan said that in the case of reservoir filling, the names of influential quarters or various institutions or projects formed by the private sector are often heard. But the initiative of government agencies to fill such reservoirs shows why we are failing to build sustainable and livable cities. As a result of such unjust initiatives, it became clear why we could not come up with effective solutions to the problem of waterlogging in Dhaka.
He said various projects have been taken to alleviate water logging in Dhaka. But the relief from waterlogging and the effectiveness of drainage system largely depends on the water holding capacity of the reservoir. Although the water body area in an urban area needs to be 12-15 percent, the area of water bodies in Dhaka is decreasing alarmingly.
Therefore, the reservoirs identified in DAP are being subjected to arbitrary occupation. The concerned agencies including the RAJUK, Dhaka North City Corporation, Dhaka District Administration, Department of Environment have not taken any action to stop this occupation or filling, which is a matter of great concern.
Asked about this, DAP project director Ashraful Islam told Daily Industry that DAP was drafted on the basis of reasonable opinions of urban experts, civil society representatives and REHAB.
Reasonable claims for rehab have been included in the DAP. The most importance has been given to the conservation of reservoirs and reservoirs in DAP. Now the places in Ashkona that are being filled indiscriminately are mentioned as reservoirs in DAP. Therefore, in order to save the area from waterlogging, the reservoirs have to be stopped from filling up.

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