A collage of photographs published in this newspaper yesterday speaks of the continuous sufferings the city-dwellers have to go through as major thoroughfares of the city get inundated after a few hours of rain. And every time after a little shower, the city's traffic system totally collapses.
Waterlogging in Dhaka has become a common problem during monsoon. Rainwater is carried through natural canals and large concrete pipes to flood plains and rivers, but as most of the canals have been grabbed by the encroachers or clogged with solid wastes, the city streets are submerged even after a little rain. Moreover, according to experts, the city's storm-water drainage system is inadequate and is only capable of dealing with 20mm of rainfall and the streets get waterlogged if the rainfall exceeds 40mm. So, Dhaka needs a complete drainage network in which the canals, water retention areas, flood plains and rivers would collect, carry and retain rainwater and will be connected with each other.
According to the Flood Action Plan and DAP, the city should have 5,523 acres of conserved water retention areas, 20,093 acres of canals and rivers, and 74,598 acres of flood flow zones. But according to experts, most of these wetlands have been filled up.
Immediate action needs to be taken to reclaim the lost floodplains and canals, otherwise the situation will keep worsening. It is the duty of the city authorities to clean up the clogged drains and canals and rescue the water bodies inside the city from the land grabbers. The Dhaka City Corporations and Dhaka Wasa have to do their development works in coordination with each other. But what is most important is the implementation of the Dhaka's Detailed Area Plan (DAP) if we want a permanent solution to this problem.