No end to water logging in sight

Restore natural drainage system, find a permanent solution

Published : 25 May 2022 07:59 PM

Rainfall is supposed to bring relief for many, but not for residents of Dhaka . Here the rain comes with flood of pain which takes the form of chaos when rain water collapses the city’s traffic system and inundates the major thoroughfares. Rain in Dhaka city has become more of a curse than a blessing especially for those who need to commute amidst it.  It has been the same old story every year during the monsoon season.  

During Bangladesh’s relentless monsoon season, Dhaka is submerged several times a month. A mere hour of rain plunges Dhaka into an abyss of water-logging caused by poor drainage system and unplanned urbanisation. However, the two city corporations have claimed that waterlogging will be less this year as the drain, box culvert construction and canal dredging activities are going on for smooth drainage of stagnant rainwater. Reportedly, the city authorities have identified over a hundred waterlogging-prone areas of the capital and begun taking measures to minimize the risk of flooding in the upcoming monsoon.

A coordinated master plan involving 

all relevant agencies should be taken 

to drain rainwater from the city roads

A coordinated master plan involving all relevant agencies should have been taken to drain rainwater from the city roads. In 2016, Annisul Haq, the late mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), took numerous initiatives to eradicate waterlogging problem. As a result, the situations in areas such as Gulshan are still struggling to get rid of the miseries created by waterlogging.

Unplanned urbanisation  and poor drainage system are the major reasons for the existing waterlogging problems in the capital. 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.  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. Improper maintenance of existing drainage system has also aggravated the situation. But efforts on the part of the city authorities have not been enough fruitful to address and fix the problems. 

Dhaka still has not reached the stage where it must accept that waterlogging is inevitable. 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 needs a proper drainage system in which the canals, flood plains and rivers would be connected to carry excess water within hours. In order to mitigate the waterlogging problems; the city must restore its natural drainage system through evicting the illegal grabbers of the city canals.