Hardly has the monsoon begun, city dwellers are already suffering the consequences, rainwater leads to severe water-logging in most areas of the capital.
Hardly has the monsoon begun, city dwellers are already suffering the consequences. Rainwater leads to severe water-logging in most areas of the capital including Shantinagar, Mouchak, Maghbazar, Rampura, Badda, Jatrabari and even posh residential areas such as Gulshan. Following heavy or even not so heavy rains, water rises knee high, preventing many modes of transport from plying the roads, and clogging up in water and severe traffic, those that do. Water-logging damages infrastructure, destroys vegetation and aquatic habitats and gives rise to waterborne diseases from the overflow of sewerage polluting the water. And driven by sheer necessity, people wade through the contaminated water, but it is a hygienic nightmare.
Inadequate drainage sections and outlets, a dated drainage system with low capacity and gravity and lack of proper maintenance, natural salutation, absence of inlets and outlets, and, perhaps most importantly, the disposal of solid waste into the drains and drainage paths are the prime causes of water-logging in the capital. Canals and wetlands have been filled up at will on the pretext of real estate development, depriving the rainwater of its natural outlets. The drainage system as it now stands lacks proper maintenance and needs renovation, if not a complete overhaul. While measures are sometimes taken to clear the sewerage, it is often left on the roadside, only to flow back into the drains and back onto the roads during heavy rain, thus carrying on the vicious cycle.
Dhaka City is in dire need of proper planning and coordination, not least, of proper inlets and outlets for its water flow. Collaboration between the public and private sectors in developing the urban drainage system may be in order. So far, the Detailed Area Plan (DAP), which was approved to deal with the city's physical and environmental issues, is still on paper. We urge the authorities to implement it with a firm hand as a first step towards easing the woes of the city dwellers and making life in the capital a little more bearable.