CDA must answer for its chronic failure
The continued public sufferings caused by the unplanned development activities of the Chattogram Development Authority (CDA) are quite unacceptable. According to a report by Prothom Alo, the state-run organisation has not only failed to play the role expected of it, but also plunged the city in a mess with its inefficient handling of projects. The CDA's primary responsibility was to plan and implement housing projects for residents as well as prevent unplanned urbanisation, something that it failed to do. Instead, over the years, it has overextended its mandate by focusing on various infrastructure development projects such as drainage development, building flyovers and elevated expressways, constructing flats, etc. – which was not even its job in the first place. The question is, why did the CDA forget its roles and responsibilities?
For instance, the Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) used to deal with the city's waterlogging problem before the CDA, six years ago, took over this task. It was partly because of its lack of experience in this regard that a megaproject it undertook in 2017 to prevent waterlogging – spending Tk 5,790 crore – failed to make an impact. In fact, waterlogging took a severe turn this monsoon, submerging the city at least 12 times following heavy rains and tidal water. Moreover, none of the 25 projects undertaken by the CDA over the last 15 years could be completed on time, which eventually multiplied the costs of the projects. Moreover, it reportedly cut down 16 hills to construct a link road through the city, and also did not pay heed to the suggestion of transport experts not to build unnecessary flyovers in Chattogram. There are many such allegations against this organisation that demonstrate its chronic failure to discharge its duties properly.
Evidently, the CDA has done more damage than good to the health of the port city – at massive costs to taxpayers. It is time the higher authorities held it accountable by making its management answer for their incompetence and failures. Otherwise, making Chattogram a liveable city will remain a far-fetched dream.