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Waterlogging in Dhaka

Mayor Taposh criticises WASA, WDB for the perennial problem

Published : 22 Jul 2020 09:52 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 08:57 PM

Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh has said that the information provided by the agency heads and representatives of the agencies responsible for the current waterlogging in the city corporation area is not entirely accurate.

 “WASA and Water Development Board have been assigned with the task of reducing water logging in Dhaka city. But unfortunately they have failed miserably in that responsibility. Give us the responsibility, we will solve the waterlogging problem through long term master plan,” the mayor said.

Mayor Taposh said this at an emergency webinar convened by Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (LGRD) Minister Md Tajul Islam on Wednesday to formulate a long-term plan in order to reduce waterlogging in the capital. High ups from the Ministry of Water Resources, Dhaka North and South City Corporation, Dhaka WASA, RAJUK, Metro Rail Authority, BRTA, Water Development Board and other authorities concerned attended the meeting.

At the time of meeting, mentioning different projects, Water Development Board and WASA authority claimed that they have set-up several water-pumps and storm sewerage line at different areas to solve the waterlogging problem. 

Referring to various rules, sections and sub-sections of the Local Government (City Corporation) Act-2009, DSCC Mayor Barrister Taposh said that the City Corporation is responsible for drainage, conservation and maintenance of water bodies in its area. 

However, for a long time Dhaka WASA and Water Development Board have kept the responsibility of reservoir conservation, maintenance and drainage of water under their responsibility. They are not handing over the responsibility to us according to the law and they are not fulfilling that responsibility properly. 

DSCC Mayor Taposh said, “We are elected by the people. So people have high expectations on us. But the information provided by the agency heads and representatives of the agencies responsible for the current waterlogging in the corporation area is not entirely accurate. If necessary, we can visit with you now. We can verify the truth of the information presented at the meeting by the service agencies and the concerned ministries. I say with challenge, the information presented is not correct. We can prove it by going to the spot.”

When the DSCC mayor requested the LGRD Minister to inspect the development activities presented by Water Development Board and WASA, the minister agreed. 

Then in the afternoon, LGRD Minister visited the canals and pump stations under wards 14, 22 and 24 of DSCC. 

At the visit, LGRD Minister saw that canals were in a moribund condition due to the accumulation of piles of garbage. Everyone present with the Minister was disappointed to see the stagnation of the pump house. 

Then, the Minister visited Hatirjheel Sluice Gate next to Sonargaon Hotel.

At that time the minister askedwhen the sluice gate was opened, the authorities said it has been open since July 13.

LGRD Minister and DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam were also visited the Karwan Bazar area to inspect the waterlogging. 

Till filing the story, they were on the spot visit at Mirpur Mazar Road. 

Responding to a question from reporters after the inspection, the minister said the information provided by the Dhaka WASA Authority, Water Development Board about their activities is not fully accurate, mismatched with expectation.

Replying to another question from reporters about the responsibility of the canals and water bodies of Dhaka to the two city corporations, Md Tajul Islam said his ministry would take the next step considering the capacity of the city corporations by following the proper process.

Earlier on Tuesday, responding to a question about the waterlogging in the capital, the LGRD minister said, “The water level in the rivers has increased due to the high flow of water coming from upstream. Due to this, it is not possible to extract water from Dhaka city in a normal or natural way through the switch gate.”

“If these gates are opened, the water of rivers will enter Dhaka city without leaving the city. This will further increase waterlogging. Therefore, we just have to pump out the water (artificial method),” he added.