Thundershowers with intense lightning flashes accompanied by rain and gusty wind swept over different parts of the country including capital Dhaka on Friday. After three hours of heavy rain, waterlogging was created in some places of the capital which caused traffic jam and transportation crisis.
Though the rain on Friday gave us some relief from the scorching heat, it reminded us of the sufferings that we have to go through every monsoon. It is disconcerting to note that a mere hour of rain plunges Dhaka into an abyss of filthy water on roads caused by poor drainage system and unplanned urbanization. Also, every time after a heavy rainfall the city’s traffic system collapses, which often lasts for hours together.
Dhaka needs a proper drainage system in
which the canals, flood plains and rivers would
be connected to carry excess water within hours
Dhaka’s water-drainage system is only capable of dealing with 20mm of rainfall where in most of the areas the rainfall often exceeds 40mm. Lack of coordination and planning coupled with slow progress of drainage construction work are the main barriers to sustainable solution of the city’s waterlogging problem. Experts assert that unplanned urbanisation and poor drainage system are the major reasons for the existing waterlogging problems in the capital. Moreover, most of the drains remain clogged with dirt and debris. Hence, a considerable part of our capital city collapses within a few hours of rain.
The natural drainage system in Dhaka comprises of several canals and floodplains which have been grabbed or filled up with illegal dumping of waste. On top of that, real estate developers have been indulging in a competition to haphazardly fill up low lands through which excess water used to go to the nearby rivers. Also, improper maintenance of existing drainage system has aggravated the situation. But efforts on the part of the city authorities have not been enough fruitful to address and fix the problems. In order to mitigate the waterlogging problems the city must restore its natural drainage system through evicting the illegal grabbers of the city canals. Dhaka needs a proper drainage system in which the canals, flood plains and rivers would be connected to carry excess water within hours.
We believe Dhaka’s waterlogging problem can be fixed. What is needed now is a concerted and well-deployed move fuelled by adequate allocation of resources. Dhaka still has not reached the stage where it must accept that waterlogging is inevitable. We do not want to learn the way how to live being water-logged rather we want to manage the problem in a way so our life is not disturbed too much because of rain and waterlogging.