Incessant torrential rains starting midnight on Sunday waterlogged nearly one-third of Chittagong city, disrupting city life and causing immense sufferings to its dwellers for around 12 hours.
According to Met office, 222.3 millimetres of rainfall was recorded in the city in the 24 hours till 6:00pm yesterday.
Residents blame the negligence of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) for the water-logging in the city that has been recurring every year.
Many areas of the city's Halishahar, Muradpur, Bahaddarhat, Prabartak, Sholashahar, Bakalia, Badurtala, Rahattarpul, Kapasgola, Chawk Bazar, Alfala Goli, DC Road, EPZ and Agrabad areas have already gone under knee-deep to waist-deep water and vehicular movement in these areas have been severely restricted.
Visiting these areas at around 9:30 am, The Daily Star witnessed rainwater flooding kitchen markets, slums and the ground floors of most buildings and markets. Many human haulers were found stranded on waterlogged roads while office-goers and parents with school going children were seen struggling to find transport.
Hafijul Islam, executive officer at a local software firm, expressed his frustration; saying, “CCC has turned a blind eye to the city's water-logging problem”.
“Every year, CCC spends a huge budget on excavating canals, but if this work was actually conducted properly then city dwellers would not have had to face this,” he said, while making his way through knee-deep water in Muradpur area to his office in Araskan Society.
Md Rabiul Hasan, scheduled to attend Chittagong University third-year final exams was seen stranded at Gate Number-2 in the heavy downpour at around 11:30am.
“My exam starts at 12:00 noon. I do not know whether I can find any transport to make it there on time,” he said. He blamed CCC's negligence in drainage management for the severity of the situation.
Mariyam Bibi, a Sholashahar railway station area slum dweller, said water overflowing from the local canal had damaged most of her household goods.
However, vehicular movement on different city roads became normal as the water receded from most areas by 5:00pm.
Contacted, Bijoy Kumar Chowdhury, co-chairman of CCC standing committee on water-logging, said no significant project was taken up by CCC to excavate the city's canals this year except Dom Khal, on which Tk 8 crore was spent.
CCC cannot keep up the regular cleaning and excavation of canals due to shortage of manpower and funds, he said. He pointed out that some people were constructing structures on canals in defiance of laws adding to the problem.
The issue of water-logging cannot be mitigated without coordinated efforts between Chittagong Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, Chittagong Development Authority, and CCC, Bijoy said.