Fear of flood looms over Dhaka’s low-lying areas
"For the last one week, the water has been rising here. It's increased by, like, two feet. We're fearing that we may get flooded, at a time when the water in Sylhet is receding."
Md Enamul, a resident of Beraid, on the bank of Balu River, told The Daily Star yesterday.
"In 1988 and 1998, we witnessed terrible floods. This year, we are fearing a similar situation," he said.
It's not just Balu River; water level of other rivers around Dhaka is gradually increasing.
However, the water has not yet spilled onto the land yet. But if it does, several low-lying areas will be submerged, experts said.
According to Water Development Board's Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre, the water of Turag, Balu, Shitalakkhya, Dhaleshwari and Buriganga is rising.
Normally, water from some parts of the city drains into various lakes, including Hatirjheel. But as the water reaches closer to the danger level, the drainage system will increasingly be obstructed. According to the flood forecasting centre, the maximum water level of Balu is 7.13 metres; 5.75 metres is considered the danger level. Yesterday, the water level was 3.70 metres.
In other rivers, the water level was higher yesterday than the previous day, which might be a reason for concern.
Arifuzzaman Bhuyan, executive engineer of the centre, however, assured that even if the water rises, there is no possibility of crossing the danger level so far.
At least in the next few days, the danger level will not be crossed, he predicted.
FLOOD THREAT IN LOW-LYING AREAS
Residents of Dhaka's lower parts are now fearing floods. According to them, this time it is raining a lot, and river water is rising.
Yesterday, in Beraid and Majhina of Rupganj, this correspondent saw that water had risen up to the stairs of Beraid Ghat.
Hare Krishna, the leaseholder of the ghat, told The Daily Star that the water has been rising for the past one week.
Md Alal, a resident of Majhina, said, "In 2020, we witnessed flooded roads. We think we will run into a similar situation this year too, because the water level of Turag and Balu is increasing day by day."
Meanwhile, in some low-lying areas, water accumulated on roads due to heavy rain is not receding. This is contributing to the rising water level of rivers as well as people's sufferings.
Water is not receding in various areas including Nardapara, Nagarbari, Chairmanbari, Puranpara, and Shah Kabir Mazar Road, as the drainage system is not operational.
Regarding city corporations' preparedness, Selim Reza, chief executive officer of Dhaka North City Corporation, told The Daily Star, "We have not yet received news of flooding. But we are prepared to drain water if it accumulates in low-lying areas."