Dhaka deluged | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 29, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 29, 2015

Editorial

Dhaka deluged

Drastic action needed to save the capital

No wonder Dhaka is one of the most unlivable cities in the world. Many would like to think that except the change in spelling of the name of the Capital, very little change has come about by way of adding to the comfort of the people living in the city. The chaos caused by waterlogging during the two days of rain, which was not anything very excessive, has wrought, testifies to that. And the problem is increasing every year where the opposite should have been the case.  

The statistic of the facilities is miserable. As reported in this paper last week, only a third of the 360 sq km of the Wasa service area is covered by the drainage system. And even if there were better drainage coverage the way the runoff areas have been clogged up, the canals and rivers blocked, the drainage would be of no use at all. Added to that, the natural water holding areas have been filled up to make room for newer construction, and the exercise continues unabated. The Detailed Area Plan has been all but discarded to cater to the unscrupulous land grabbers. And this has put paid to any hopes of eliminating the problem of waterlogging. 

We must stress that the problem is not for the two city corporations or the two mayors to resolve alone. The government must come in a big way to intervene in the matter. The catchment areas in particular must be freed and the encroachers, many of them with strong political links, must be made to clear the impediments and pay for the havoc they have wreaked on the Capital.

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