It is encouraging to note that the two city corporations entrusted with the responsibility of canals of the capital have embarked on a plan to recover canals and waterbodies in Dhaka.
Of late, Dhaka North and South City Corporations have been given the responsibility of maintaining the canals and drains previously under control of Dhaka WASA.
As reported by this daily on Saturday, the two city corporations have already started demarcation work by removing waste and evicting illegal occupants. Walkways will be constructed alongside the canal by removing illegal structures. In addition, there will be rows of green trees and bicycle lanes.
We hope this time the initiatives to recover
Dhaka's lost canals will not go in vain
like in the past
We have come to know that no encroachers, even influential ones, will be spared from the eviction drive, and multi-storey buildings constructed illegally on canal premises will be demolished.
Though it seemed to be a daunting task to recover the capital’s lost canals and many other wetlands, government’s strong political commitment can spur hope towards reclaiming them.
Dhaka had around 58 canals and lakes and was surrounded by four rivers. Over the years Dhaka has lost almost all of its water bodies due to rapid urbanisation. Now, only 26 canals exist in reality in a dillipated condition.
Experts identify illegal grabbing by influential quarters and dumping of massive quantities of garbage from the surrounding neighbourhoods as the main reasons behind disappearing canals.
Canals and water bodies of the capital must be recovered for ensuring the natural balance of the city and protecting its environment keeping pace with the development and urbanisation spree. Authorities concerned need to take appropriate legal actions against land grabbers to recover the occupied canals. Practice of waste dumping in canals and lakes must be stopped in no time.