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Flood worsens: Punish those responsible for faulty dams

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26th-Jul-2019       
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FLOOD situation has started worsening again in some northern districts as rivers are swelling due to heavy downpour and onrush of water from across the border. Teesta, Dharla, Jamuna, Dudhkumari, Bangalee and its adjacent rivers are flowing above the danger level, said the Water Development Board (WDB). In addition, fresh areas were inundated after dam collapse, and around 40 villages in Kurigram are at risk with two embankments being on the verge of collapse.
Flood situation in Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Bogura, Tangail, Sirajganj, Manikganj, Rajbari, Faridpur and Munshiganj may remain unchanged, but conditions may deteriorate in Sylhet and Sunamganj to some extent. Around 200 houses and vast areas of croplands were freshly inundated in Mymensingh yesterday after a portion of the flood protection embankment collapsed in Charshirta Konapara area of the Sadar Upazila. As a result, a huge amount of water entered, inundating houses and land within a few hours.
This is an all too familiar tale. Dams and embankments meant to save villages collapse with an astonishing regularity in our country. Every year crores of takas of public funds are spent to build up these structures to prevent floods from impacting the lives of citizens negatively. But all of this comes to naught when the structures beak down of their own accord.
So then why are the crores of takas spent from the public exchequer on these faulty structures? The answer lies in the collusion between a section of the public sector officials and the contractors who make these structures. Payments of bribes facilitate the giving of tenders for large public works projects. Thus an unholy connivance between a section of the officials and such corrupt contractors paves the way for substandard public infrastructure projects.
But nature can't be fooled--the mighty waters of the rivers flowing through Bangladesh can't be stopped by dams which would not hold back a child's attacks. This is simply a misutilisation of public funds. The corrupt public sector officials have been avoiding punishment for years because no higher ups have held them responsible. Thus the sufferings of the people continue because the administration facilitates the corruption by not taking stringent actions against those responsible. The guilty must be punished to stop the suffering of the innocent.

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