Threat of utility network-related disaster
It is a highly worrisome prospect that the many utilities we are served by everyday may be a source of danger to us in the event of a major disaster such as severe earthquake. It is feared that in such a case rescue operation could collapse completely and the city might need to be abandoned.
According to experts, a major tremor would severely damage the utility networks of the Dhaka city. There would be leaks and cracks in numerous places of the long and crisscrossed networks of gas transmission pipes, water pipes and sewerage line. Overhead electricity poles and cables would also topple down. The number of casualties would be immensely high due to fire and other transmission line-related hazards. During the earthquake in Nepal, such failures added to the death toll. Being on the fault line and with poorly managed utility system, the haphazardly built capital is at the risk of similar catastrophe.
The government should conduct a physical survey of the total utility system to assess vulnerabilities and take immediate steps to make it earthquake resistant. Experts have suggested various defensive measures that include using gas cylinder instead of underground pipe lines; installing earthquake-resistant gas pipes in phases; establishing automatic gas transmission control system; and improving soil quality by injecting cement water mixture. The government should seriously consider these proposals.