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No respite from waterlogging in city

DSCC mayor blames WASA: Experts see lack of coordination among utility service providers

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17th-May-2018       
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Reza Mahmud :
The sufferings of residents in most areas of the capital city are in the worst due to water logging caused for lack of proper drainage system.
The concerned authorities responsible for this menace are shifting their liabilities to others while experts blame lack of coordination among different utility service providing organizations.
 "We have no respite from the acute water-logging in the city. Even moderate shower inundates almost all the streets for several hours, creating gridlock as well as sufferings for city people," environment expert Architect Iqbal Habib told The New Nation on Sunday.
He blamed the lack of coordination among different utility service organisations responsible for this."
Iqbal Habib said there was a meeting of three ministries including Local Government, Rural
Development and Cooperatives in July 16 last year, arranged by Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor late Annisul Huq, regarding how to overcome the water logging in the city.
 "There were certain decisions were taken from the meeting to re4move water-logging from the city. But the main point was to take coordinated programme to meet the problem. The other important points were to give the prime responsibility to the public representatives that means city corporations to include people with the massive programme to solve the problem," said the environment specialist.
Iqbal Habib regretted, "Nowadays, we find there is no coordination among the authorities like city corporations, Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) and Dhaka District Administration in this regard. For this, we failed to achieve any positive result."
Other experts alleged that the housing companies are also filling all water bodies and low-lying lands surrounding the city, further aggravating situation.
They alleged that some influential persons also grabbed most of the city, which pushed the city under threats of flush floods and water logging in every rainy season.
They also blamed city residents for this as they throw polythene and other garbage to drains.
In these circumstances, the water logging has become a common scenario in the city after every rainfall from the begging of the rainy days of this summer. Even moderate rain frequently takes most parts of the capital under ankle-to-knee-deep water and pushed the public road transport system into a near-breakdown. Rainwater intrudes into ground floors of many slums, shops, educational institutions and other establishments.
Streets, lanes and by-lanes are submerged. People, mainly office-goers, suffer immensely. Many of them have to wade through filthy water to reach their workplaces, failing to get any vehicle.
 "Though some vehicles were plying through the water it was very difficult to get that because the street were inundated under the rainwater. Then how can we get the transports? The water logging makes our lives hell," said Sharmeen Aklima, a private service holder from Motijheel.
However, many city dwellers blame the city corporations' cleaners for their unwillingness to unclean drains, which is responsible for water logging.
 "The cleaners are found working in drains in main roads, but ignoring lanes and by-lanes. But we are also suffering from acute water logging in our lanes after coming out from home," Abul Hussain, a pharmacy shop owner said from Gendaria.
Experts also blame using of polythene bags for the untold water-logging. They said polythene are main culprit which blocked rain water in drains and caused flooding of rain water in every areas.
 "Polythene is one of the main cause of water logging as they block rain water in the drains. Use and production of the product is illegal. But huge amount of polythene are produced and used everyday. Most of the polythene are eventually thrown to the drains and blocked the ways to pass rain water," Abdul Matin, General Secretary of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon told The New Nation.
When contacted, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Mohammad Sayeed Khokon told The New Nation on Sunday, "It is the WASA's responsibility to eliminate water logging. It is impossible to meet the problem until the WASA make all of its drains and canals 100 percent workable."
 "But as public representative, we are trying our best to solve the problem. We are reforming and extended our drains to pass the rain water fast," he said.
When asked about experts' allegations about lack of coordination among the authorities, Sayeed Khokon said, "We are trying to go with coordination. "Frequently, I sit with every authorities like WASA, district administration and the ministries to solve problems."
Khandaker Millatul Islam, Additional Chief Waste Management Officer of DSCC said, "Our special teams are working hard after every rainfall to solve the problem. Our sucker machines are also in work."
Osman Gani, the Acting Mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), told The New Nation on Sunday, "Our sucker Machine always works to eliminate water logging from the city. Our officials also are working hard to meet the problem."
When contacted, Taqsem A Khan, Managing Director of WASA said, "We are working hard to recover city canals and keep the drains workable to eliminate water-logging."

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