Dirty and stinky water accumulated on Paris Road in Mirpur. Photo: Palash Khan
The road has been named after one of the most attractive cities in the world -- Paris. Yet the waterlogged Paris Road in the capital's Mirpur with numerous potholes resembles anything but the European city.
It may rather appear as a stinky version of Venice during the rainy season, especially to students of four schools -- Mirpur Udayan School, Abbas Uddin High School, Agrani High School and Cambridge International School -- located along the road.
The students of these schools have to wade through dirty water while crossing the road even in the dry season.
Md Rabiul Alam, headmaster of Mirpur Udayan School and College, said 80 students left the school this year because of difficulties in reaching the institution due to the poor condition of the road.
Students like Nawrin Shamima and Aysha Akhtar, whose school is not situated beside this road, also have to endure similar sufferings.
As rickshaw-pullers usually avoid the pothole-riddled road, the duo, students of class-VI of Mirpur Girls Ideal Laboratory Institute at Mirpur-10, have to walk around 30 minutes every day to reach their school. The distance from their houses on Mirpur Avenue-5 could otherwise be covered in 10 minutes by rickshaw.
"Last Wednesday, I had to cross the road, wading through dirty water up to my knee as there was no rickshaw," Nawrin said.
Mahmuda Akhtar Dola and Noor Jahan Akhtar Mim, class-V students of Oxford International School at Mirpur-10, also suffered owing to the road condition. They had an examination on Wednesday and had to hire a rickshaw-van, which usually carries construction materials, and shared it with other commuters.
The story is more or less similar for everyone using the road, which connects major roads like Purabi-Kalsi and Mirpur-10-Kachukhet and remains unusable throughout the year.
Both Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) have failed to take any effective step to improve the situation.
Waste and rainwater cover the road due to lack of a proper drainage system, said Zakir Hossain Monir, owner of a sanitary shop by the road.
Rainwater is supposed to flow out through adjacent Baishteki canal, which itself remains blocked due to dumping of waste and lack of connectivity with other canals.
Qudrat Ullah, additional chief engineer of DNCC, said a work order had already been issued to a contractor to repair the road.
However, the contractor could not start the work as the Wasa was conducting its drainage work, he added.
Kyaw Sha Ching, project director (removal of waterlogging) of Dhaka Wasa, said a stretch of around 1.25-km land should be acquired to link Baishteki canal to Bouniya canal near Mirpur-11.
A Tk-545 crore project proposal to acquire land for five canals, including Baishteki, was submitted to the Planning Commission two years ago, said another Wasa official.