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Experts for restoring Dhaka’s crumbling drainage system

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Experts for restoring Dhaka’s crumbling drainage system

Thereport24.com Desk:

While the incapacity of capital Dhaka to cope up with only half an hour’s shower has been exposed in recent monsoons, experts have laid emphasis on overcoming the lack of coordination among different authorities concerned for maintaining its collapsing drainage system.

Although Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (Dwasa), city corporations and Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) are responsible to ensure proper drainage system in the capital, lack of coordination among them are adding up with the woes of rainwater stagnation, they pointed out.

As the rise in water level of rivers surrounding Dhaka during monsoon is a common phenomenon, the authorities need to flush out the stagnant water caused by heavy rains through pumping when the intensity of rainfall is very high in a short period, but they have failed, said SM Mahbubur Rahman, a director of the Institute of Water Modeling (IWM).

Mahbubur was talking to UNB over the virtual collapse of the transport system due to the inundation of city roads after the heavy showers on Tuesday morning.

Contacted, Dwasa acting superintendent engineer M Rafiqul Islam told the news agency that they have four permanent pumping stations in the capital, which are used to remove rainwater.

The stations are in the city’s Kallyanpur, Rampura, Kamlapur and Dholaikhal areas.

According to sources at the BWDB, they have one pumping station at the city’s Goran Chat Bari, which is also used to remove rainwater.

Dwasa spokesman Zakaria Al Mahmud said the rainfall on Tuesday exceeded the met office forecast, and the water-logging was created as huge precipitation took place within a very short period.

Blaming other government bodies for lack of steps to address such a problem, Zakaria said, “No Wasa can be found across the world, which maintains the drainage system of a city, but Dwasa maintains 20 percent of city’s drainage system.”

“It’s the responsibility of other bodies (two city corporations and BWDB) to maintain the rest of the drainage system,” said the Dwasa deputy chief public relations officer.

Talking to UNB, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) mayor Sayeed Khokon said it is very difficult tackle the problem of water-logging caused by a ‘high-intensity rain’.

“It’ll take a long time to resolve the existing water-logging problem of Dhaka city as the drainage system is blocked with wastage during rains. And almost all the city canals are grabbed and filled up by encroachers,” he said, adding that it will take time to recover the canals from encroachers.

The DSCC mayor said they have some short-time plans to relieve people a bit from the suffering of water-logging. “We’re trying to clean up drains so that the rainwater can run off easily,” he added.

Noting that 14 organisations are involved in maintaining the drainage system of the city, he blamed lack of coordination among them for the water-logging.

The mayor also underscored the need for constituting a coordinating committee or authority to take effective measures to resolve the problem. “There’s no alternative to it.”

On Tuesday, the met office recorded 42 mm rainfall in an hour, which was not entirely unusual for Dhaka. But almost the entire city got inundated due to crumbling drainage system while some places went under several feet of stagnant rainwater.

Bangladesh Metrological Department recorded 64 mm of rainfall in the capital from 12:0am (night) to 3:00pm on Wednesday.

Like the previous day, roads in many areas were also submerged by rainwater due to the relentless rainfall. The roads in Mirpur,

Mohammadpur, Lalmatia, Dhanmodi, Karwanbazar, Kakrail, Shanitanagar, Moghbazar, Mouchak, Malibagh, Rampura and Badda, areas went under knee-deep water due to the rainfall on Wednesday.

Ends/UNB/S/Sept 02, 2015