Capital Dhaka may witness severe waterlogging this year as digging several city roads continue in many busy areas with the onset of monsoon, experts say.
Besides, urban experts warned saying that if the drains are not cleared and canals are not excavated immediately, the situation may worsen this year.
They said that dumping of solid waste in canals and filling up of sewerage lines with dust, construction materials and garbage, will result in severe waterlogging.
However, both the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) claimed that they have already taken all out measures to get rid of waterlogging during the rainy season.
The monsoon season will begin today. Meanwhile, city dwellers have already experienced rain several times so far this year.
While visiting different city areas, this correspondent found several city roads are in dilapidated condition. Many areas from Airport to Uttara connecting Tongi, Mirpur 10 to Agargaon, 60 feet road connecting Mirpur to Agargoan, Paltan, Press Club, Kajla to Middyabari of Jatrabari, Kamalapur to Arambagh, and Bansree to Demra Staff Quarters, are in a very poor condition due to ongoing construction work.
“The city corporation may experience severe waterlogging as the city corporation could not complete the ongoing road digging activities at many areas in Sector numbers 4,6,7,9 and 11 of Uttara, Rifat, a resident of Uttara said.
On May 30, DNCC started excavating a water retention canal from Ashkona to Kha Para near Khilkhet with a view to resolving city’s waterlogging problem.
When the excavation of the canal is completed, the obstruction of water flow in different places of the 1.8 km long canal will be removed and the waterlogging of Kasaibari, Ashkona, Kaila, Banarupa Housing areas will be removed, DNCC official said.
During the inauguration, DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam said, “Due to improper cleaning of WASA drain, waterlogging is taking place in Sasatbari, Madhubagh area of Magbazar whenever it rains. But the people are repeatedly blaming the city corporation.”
General Secretary of Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) Dr Adil Mohammed Khan told Bangladesh Post, “City people have been suffering a lot for years due to ongoing mega projects including Metro Rail and Bus Rapid Transit in Dhaka. At the same time, road digging and construction work of other projects in different areas have worsened the situation.”
He also said, “Most of the existing city canals have been blocked with garbage and grabbed by wrongdoers. Besides, we have not seen any initiative from WASA or other government organizations to increase the channels of sewerage network. So, this year, the city dwellers are at risk of facing more severe waterlogging and traffic congestion than other years.”
According to a recent study conducted by BIP, some 82 percent areas of the capital is covered with concrete. The percentage was about 65 percent two decades ago.
The study shows that concrete coverage of the city hampers absorbing rainwater, posing a serious threat to the city dwellers.
Meanwhile, the level of rainfall has increased before the start of the monsoon season due to premature monsoon winds with western winds is spreading across the country.
As a result, meteorologists expect that the monsoon may bring heavy rains across the country throughout the month of June.
Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, executive engineer of the Flood Forecasting and Warning Center said, “The monsoon winds had spread earlier and this time there was more rain before the monsoon. The amount of rainfall may be higher in the monsoon season compared to last year.”
“As a result, the country may experience flood by the end of June and another flood between August and September,” he added.