Port city drowns after drizzle
CDA has been working on many canals [36 canals] and drains for the last four years, but the waterlogging problem did not improve in our area.
A drizzle in the morning was all it took to submerge Chattogram city's low-lying areas yesterday, resulting in residents, commuters and pedestrians having to deal with muddy and waterlogged roads.
Although Chattogram Development Authority (CDA) has been implementing a Tk 5,617-crore mega-project to address waterlogging in the city since 2017, city dwellers alleged that they are not seeing any benefits even four years after the project's commencement.
"We see that CDA has been working on many canals [36 canals] and drains for the last four years, but the waterlogging problem did not improve in our area," said Abdur Razzak, a resident of Chawkbazar area.
Even though the mega-project was approved in August 2017, with the latest deadline being June 2022, only 65 percent of the work had been completed by April. The third extension, till December 2023, is awaiting Ecnec's approval. If approved, this will increase the cost by around 70 percent, to Tk 9,526 crore.
Yesterday, it was seen that roads in low-lying areas, including Chawkbazar, West Bakalia DC Road, KB Aman Ali Road, Katalganj, Kapasgola, Bahaddarhat, Muradpur, Sholashahar, Halishahar, Agrabad CDA, Chandgaon and Shulakbahar, went under knee-to-waist-deep water.
Chattogram Met office recorded 48 mm rain in 24 hours till noon yesterday, said Bishwajit Chowdhury, officer of Chattogram Met office.
Residents of the affected areas blamed authorities for the situation, saying that they failed to improve the waterlogging situation in over a decade.
Contacted, Lt Col Shah Ali, project director of CDA's mega-project, said, "The project work is ongoing, so it cannot be said that the project will not bring benefits." He claimed that people were already getting benefits. "Before the project started, rainwater used to inundate roads for hours, but now, the water recedes in 20 minutes."
Lt Col Ali said the temporary dams built in canals were being opened, so that water can flow through the canals.