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ED: Fix the waterlogging problem before the next rainy season

  • Published at 02:35 am November 28th, 2020
Dhaka Rain
Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

It is hoped that the first order of business for the city corporations would be to rescue our canals

One of the biggest woes for the residents of Dhaka is the capital city’s chronic waterlogging. Even low to moderate amounts of rain are enough to flood our streets, making life difficult. Heavy rainfall can paralyze neighbourhoods and halt all movement.

As a nation, we generally experience a lot of rain, sometimes even off-season -- this is a universally known fact. And yet, we are always underprepared when it comes to waterlogging. A clear, strategic plan has always been lacking, with different government agencies preferring to play blame games rather than solve the problem. 

According to Dhaka Wasa, the agency has been involved in the process of dealing with waterlogging since 1988, but the Wasa MD has said there was no failure on Wasa’s part as it was not their duty. The government has now, at long last, decided to shift the responsibility of solving the waterlogging problem to DNCC and DSCC. 

Hopefully, this will end all the finger-pointing that has been going on for the last 32 years and finally bring in some accountability. It would be overly optimistic to think the city corporations will bring in a new era of efficiency in this area, given what we have seen in the past, but with the lines of responsibility now clearer, we may be a step closer to reaching a solution.

As the DNCC mayor has said, the issue is a technical one, of canal and storm drainage management. To that end, it is hoped that the first order of business for the city corporations would be to rescue our canals, which have been encroached, filled up over the years, and abused to no end. 

When we cut corners and let people prioritize short-term profit over the big picture, we only shoot ourselves in the foot.

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