Most low-lying areas in Chattogram city went under knee-to-waist-deep water yesterday due to incessant rain since Sunday night, causing immense sufferings to city dwellers.
Abdur Rashid, a 65-year-old caretaker of a residential building on DC Road, died when he attempted to recover a submerged water pump in the morning and was electrocuted, said Sub-Inspector Ariful Islam of Chawkbazar Police Station.
Chattogram Met Office recorded 187.2mm of rain in 24 hours until 3:00pm yesterday, said Mahmudul Alam, forecasting officer of Chattogram Met Office.
Since yesterday morning, The Daily Star correspondents found the ground floors of homes and businesses inundated in Chawk Bazar, KB Aman Ali Road, DC Road, Muradpur, Bahaddarhat, Badurtola, Kapasgola, Sholashahar Gate-2, Proborttak Intersection, Agrabad, Halishahar, Shulak Bahar, Bibirhat, Chandgaon, Dewan Bazar, Chaktai, Khatunganj, Oxygen, Katalganj, and Panchlaish Residential Area of the city.
Many streets in these areas were under knee-to-waist-deep water. People were seen wading the filthy water to go to work. Some were seen busy attempting to protect their homes and shops from the water while others were trying to drain and scoop water out.
Very few vehicles were seen on the city streets and a handful of rickshaws were seen carrying passengers.
A good number of vehicles broke down on the flooded Port Connecting Road, Prabartak intersection, Chawk Bazar, Bahaddarhat, and Muradpur intersections.
Mud washed down from the hills covered many streets, including the ones in front of Chattogram Ideal School, Chattogram Medical College Hospital (CMCH) and on KB Fajlul Quader Road, OR Nizam Road, and Bayezid Bostami Road.
The ground floor of Chattogram Ma O Shishu General Hospital, where the paediatric ward and outdoor section are located, was flooded, forcing the authorities to relocate the patients.
Abida Sultana, in-charge of the outdoor section, said the inundation had become an annual phenomenon at the hospital during monsoon.
Tamanna Akter, a student of Chittagong College, was heading home from college wading through filthy water at Nawab Sirajuddaullah Road. She told The Daily Star, “I waited for around an hour for a rickshaw but could not get one.”
Kazal Barua, a retired schoolteacher heading home in Bakalia area, said, “I got a rickshaw after waiting over an hour in Bahaddarhat intersection but had to pay almost double the regular fare.”
“The government allocated over Tk 5,000 crore to address the waterlogging problem in the city but we see no improvement.”
Abdul Aziz, a resident of DC Road, said, “This year we expected some relief from waterlogging as the CDA (Chattogram Development Authority) initiated a mega project.”
The CDA in cooperation with the Bangladesh Army launched a Tk 5,616 crore project in April last year to mitigate the city’s waterlogging problem. It is supposed to be finished in June next year.
Contacted, Lt Col Abu Sadat Md Tanvir, additional project director, said the waterlogging of yesterday morning was due to high tide during incessant rain.
A total of 40 regulators were being installed at the confluences of canals and rivers to control tidal surges and storm water, he said. Three of the regulators have been installed, he added.
Once all are installed, the city dwellers would be relieved from waterlogging, he said.
To avert casualties from landslides, Chattogram District Administration removed 500 families from hillslopes in the city over the last three days, said Mahmud Ullah Maruf, revenue deputy collector of Chattogram.
They were taken to 10 shelters in the city, he said.