To improve the drainage system and avoid waterlogging during the upcoming monsoon, Barishal City Corporation (BCC) has started a massive drive to clean all of the city's sewers.
Talking to The Daily Star yesterday, Chief Executive Officer of BCC Khairul Hasan said the drive started on February 2 and will continue till mid-February.
“We already cleaned 22km of drains filled with garbage,” said the CEO.
Most of the city's sewers got blocked with solid and liquid waste, collapsing the entire drainage system, said Khairul Hasan.
The BCC authorities started the drive to get rid of waterlogging during the rainy season, he added.
Dr Rabiul Islam, in-charge of the conservancy department of BCC, said at least 100 workers are engaged in this operation. “The works on Sadar Road, Hospital Road, Bazar Road and Bagura Road areas have already been finished.”
According to BCC, the total length of the city's sewers is 376km -- 212km is made of concrete and the rest is natural.
Waterlogging has been a common problem of the city due to unplanned waste disposal and improper waste management, said Manabendra Batabayel, 75, a resident of College Raw area.
“BCC failed to remove total garbage from the concrete drains in the last 10 years. Eventually, those have got silted,” said 70-year-old Anyet Hossain Chowdhury from Parara Road area.
During a visit to different areas, this correspondent found most of the sewers filled with plastic objects, bottles, rags and other garbage.
City dwellers welcomed the drive. Anowara Begum, 70, from Kawnia area said, “I did not see any worker of BCC cleaning the drains in the last seven years.”
Dirty drains often overflow to adjoining roads, creating an unhygienic situation.
Das Gupta Asis Kumar from Bagura Road and Shipra Rani Das from Hospital Road areas hope that they would not face such nuisance while taking their children to schools after the drive.
Dr Monwar Hossain, civil surgeon of Barishal, said dirty water coming from the drains contributes to spreading of waterborne diseases.
Shuvongkar Chakrabary, secretary of the district unit of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon, said, “We demand such cleaning drive continue round the year.”