Slow place in Dhaka’s canals demarcation not acceptable

07 February 2023 Editorial Desk
Slow place in Dhaka’s canals demarcation not acceptable

Little has been done by the concerned authorities to demarcate and save the canals of the capital that drain the water of Dhaka City in the rainy season. There are legal complexities but the urgency among the authorities is also missing. Since these canals have narrowed because of encroaching and clogged because of negligence both by authorities and public in general, during the rainy season city dwellers experience water logging with minimum rainfall.

When the capital Dhaka remains inhabitable with its problems such as water-logging, air pollution, noise pollution as well as river water pollution, what is the point of making tall claims that the country is on the highway of development? Around two crore people in the capital are not getting a healthy environment for living, yet the authorities' do not show any seriousness to improve the existing conditions of the capital.

Had that not been the case, the Dhaka North City Corporation would not have failed to demarcate 29 canals along with a retention pond under it to reclaim the water bodies from encroachers and free them from pollution. The yearlong project for canals' demarcation expired in December 2022 with DNCC installing pillars around only 17 per cent of the water bodies under the project objective.

This failure tells us why the residents of the city are today frustrated about the living condition of the capital. It could not reach the goal of identifying the illegal occupiers, sources of pollution and making a web portal using the geographic information system.

According to a report of a daily, the DNCC has engaged the Bangladesh Army's 14 Independent Engineer Brigade - 12 Engineer Battalion, 57 Engineer Company - and an ad-hoc construction supervision consultant to demarcate the canals following CS Khatian, but time it is taking to complete the task is not encouraging. As it has always been the case, grabbing or encroaching upon state property is mostly done by the rich and politically powerful people. Are the canal's demarcation work and their recovery being difficult by this quarter along with the existing legal complexities?

If that is the reality, Dhaka residents have not much to hope for, because before them and under the present system in Bangladesh nothing works. Like the demarcation of rivers in and around Dhaka city following the CS Khatian as ordered by the High Court, canals must be demarcated and recovered according to the CS map. Dhaka north city mayor is urged to go to court to have this done.

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