A little rain, a whole lot of pain
When it rains a little, almost all the roads in Moulvibazar's Kulaura Municipality get flooded. On top of that, the road towards the railway station through Dakshinbazar gets inundated, causing locals to suffer.
Even though the water in the whole of Moulvibazar went down last year, it takes a long time for the water to reach Upazila Chattar from Miliplaza in Kulaura town.
The authorities started cleaning the drains before the upcoming monsoon. Later, it was found that various commercial wastes, including polythene, plastic, bottles, and cork sheets, were being dumped in the drains.
Municipality officials said specific cleaners are employed in different areas to clean the garbage from homes and businesses. They regularly take garbage in trucks at certain times. Various campaigns have also been conducted by the municipality to keep garbage at specific places.
However, people still throw garbage in the drains.
When this correspondent visited the Kulaura Municipality area recently, it was seen on the surface that in many places from the municipality to Dakshinbazar, garbage has been removed from the drains and piled on the side of the road.
Apart from empty packets of chips and biscuits, polythene, and plastic bottles, this pile also contains various wastes, including wires, cork sheets, bricks, pieces of wood, broken nail rods, and sacks. Bags and shoes are also stuck in different places.
Md Halim Ahmed, a resident of Dakshinbazar, said drain water stays on the road in front of our house throughout the year.
"There is water here even in the dry season. My father had an accident a few days ago when he slipped in this drain water while going to the mosque. The authorities have turned a blind eye to our issues," he added.
Another local Mahbub Ahmed said, "We are so unconscious that we break some part of the slab used to cover the drain and throw dirt inside the drain. Those who throw bottles or polythene in the drain should be brought under penalty.
Saidul Hasan Sipon, general secretary of Kulaura Journalists' Association, said even with a bit of drizzle, drain water inundates the roads, and garbage from the drains floats on the roads.
Abdul Karim Chowdhury, general secretary of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon Sylhet, said although there is a law to ban polythene bags, it is not effective at all.
"In the early stages, the successful implementation of the law nearly wiped out polyethene from the market. But due to the gradual relaxation of the law's implementation, the market has been flooded with polythene bags over the years," he added.
He also mentioned that polythene bags are thrown away after being used once. Polythene from roads eventually accumulates in the drains. Heaps of polythene are always seen at the mouth of drains in the streets.
"Polythene does not decompose even in 400 years. The polythene that is being thrown in the streets or on the road is becoming a tool to destroy the environment. The same polythene accumulates at the bottom of the drains and eventually ends up in the rivers," he added.
Mayor of Kulaura Municipality Principal Shiper Uddin Ahmed said before monsoon, initiatives have been taken to clean the drains in all municipality wards."
He sought the cooperation of citizens and requested them not to throw garbage, especially plastic bottles and polythene in the drains.