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City Corporations must coordinate among other service providers

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23rd-Jul-2020       
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MANY parts of Dhaka went under knee-to-waist-deep water after monsoon rainfall this week, once again exposing the dilapidated state of the city's drainage system. Apart from WASA, six other authorities deal with Dhaka's drainage system on a piecemeal basis without much knowledge about who is doing what. Despite promises and assurance from the government, Dhaka's waterlogging problem has become a constant misery that recurs, while the authorities pour millions of dollars, the people do not see the waterlogging situation any easier.
In Dhaka, canals belong to the Deputy Commissioner Office and RAJUK but are maintained by Dhaka WASA. Two city corporations maintain surface drains but underground drains are maintained by WASA and Water Development Board pumps out the rainwater from retention areas to rivers. An integrated master plan, coordinated management involving solid waste management and sewerage management are the key to getting rid of the waterlogging. The reduced amount of open spaces and unpaved areas are also responsible for the situation as rainwater cannot infiltrate into the ground. Dhaka WASA undertook a Tk 550 crore project for canal development to solve the capital's waterlogging problem in 2018. However, the project, scheduled to be completed by June 2021, could not progress much due to issues regarding land acquisition.
Urban waterlogging is not a natural disaster, rather a manmade disaster that recurs every year during monsoon. Any heavy downpour makes most of the roads of the cities damaged and unfit for use. It is the responsibility of the City Corporations to produce results by ensuring proper coordinations among service providing bodies. Otherwise there is no justification for City Corporations.

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