A submerged city | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 28, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:10 AM, September 28, 2020

A submerged city

Almost entire Rangpur under water following record rainfall

Since Saturday night, almost all areas of Rangpur city got inundated in record-breaking overnight rainfall in the district, causing untold sufferings to thousands of residents.

More than 50,000 people have been stranded due to the incessant rain. There's hardly any area in the city that was not waterlogged.

The main thoroughfare, almost all the alleys and lanes went under rainwater.

Frustrated residents took to the social media, blaming the Rangpur City Corporation (RCC) for their inaction to resolve the issue.

The Meteorological Department in Rangpur has recorded 433mm rainfall in the district from 10pm Saturday to 10am yesterday. This is the highest rainfall in the shortest duration in 100 years, said officials. They forecast more rainfall in the next 48 hours.

During a visit to different city areas, this correspondent found that all the roads and thoroughfares were under waist- to knee-deep water.

People were seen wading through filthy water to go to their destinations. Some were busy protecting their homes and shops from water while others were trying to drain and scoop water out.

People in low lying areas were the worst sufferers.  

In an city of 203 sqkm, most areas including Shapla Square, Hajipara, Chamrapatty, Karanjai, Senpara, Newsenpara, Adarshapara, Babukha, Kamarpara, Jummapara, Keranipara, Alamnagar, Hanumantola, Munsipara, Mulatol Amtola, Goneshpur, Babupara, Lalbag KDC Mor, Bus Terminal, Shalbon, Mistripara, Kamalkasna, Mahiganj, Kolabari Darshna, Medical Pakarmatha, Jolkor, New Jummapara and Khatkhotia went under water.

Many had to seek shelter elsewhere as their homes got inundated.

Chandana Karmaker, a resident of the Palpara, said her neighbourhood is under waist-deep water. She said the water pump of her four-storey building went out of order as it got inundated.

"All the families in my building are now stranded as we have no scope to get out in this situation. We are in need of food and other essentials," she said over phone yesterday afternoon.

Many areas in the city are also facing power outage.

According to residents, such waterlogging was reported in the city on July 20 after heavy rainfall. But no action was taken to increase the water flow of Shyamasundari and KD canals -- considered the lifeline of Rangpur city.

"We would get some relief if their water flow is restored, said Tuhin Wadud, an assistant professor of Begum Rokeya University.

Also, water is not receding smoothly as the sewers cannot drain towards the rivers, he said. The number of drains in the city is not adequate, he added. "Bhagat river can be used to drain out water," he said.

According to city corporation sources, the city has 200km of drains.

This correspondent tried to reach RCC Mayor Mostafizur Rahman Mostafa but his phone was found switched off.

In July, the mayor said such a problem would not exist after a couple of months.

Md Emdad Hossain, superintendent engineer of RCC, had also said they will take steps to clear the sewers on a regular basis to mitigate people's suffering.

Asked, Mostafizur Rhaman, assistant meteorologist of Rangpur Meteorological Department, gave a forecast of more rainfall in the next 48 hours.

But the fire service and water development board officials claimed Shyamasundari and KD channels are enough to drain out water. 

They, however, said more rainfall will unleash more sufferings.

Meanwhile, water of Teesta, Karatoa, Ghagat and Jamuneshwari has been flowing near the danger level. Large croplands in the area have already been flooded due to the rainfall. 

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