Dhaka north city mayor Annisul Huq declined to take over the responsibility of the city’s drainage system from the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority as offered by LGRD and co-operatives minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain at a programme on Sunday.
‘Dhaka WASA has no accountability to people and the agency which has accountability to the people should deal with the drainage system of the city,’ said the minister, who was supported by Dhaka WASA managing director Taqsem A Khan.
‘I will not take responsibility of a cancer patient,’ said Annisul while chairing the 3rd inter-departmental
coordination meeting organised by the Dhaka North City Corporation at its Gulshan office.
‘First take responsibility, it is my responsibility to ensure treatment of the patient,’ the minister assured Annisul.
Both the city corporation and Dhka WASA are different wings of the ministry.
The city people have been suffering from acute waterlogging for long due to the failure of the government authorities while the agencies continuing blaming each other for the crisis.
The water supply agency officials said that 20 per cent of total city drainage system was covered by the agency and the rest by the city corporations in Dhaka.
The water supply authority is responsible for supplying safe water, maintaining sewerage system and a portion of drainage system, they said.
It maintains 26 of the 43 canals in the capital, they added.
Annisul alleged that the city dwellers suffered from waterlogging for the failure of Dhaka WASA as it could not ensure water flow by the 18 canals in the north city area.
Local people said that some of the canals already disappeared while others were under the threat of disappearance due to encroachment, he mentioned.
Taqsem replied that district administration should evict the illegal grabbers as it owned the canals and knew their and length.
Dhaka deputy commissioner Mohammad Salah Uddin said that they would fix boundary of all the canals and make a list of the grabbers but could not evict them.
The mayor replied that he would evict but he needed support from other agencies.
The mayor hoped that the city people would no longer suffer from waterlogging from the next year.
Experts believed that drainage system should be maintained by the city corporation and they also said that canals reclamation might give an immediate partial relief from waterlogging but not a sustainable solution.
Architect Iqbal Habib said that without detailed master plan for city drainage system and implementation of the Detailed Area Plan the situation would never be sustainable.
Bangladesh Institute of Planners general secretary Akter Mahmud observed that waterlogging became acute in the city as the surrounding low lands were grabbed.
He demanded implementation of DAP and claimed that not 43 but at least 52 canals were in the city and most of them under disappearance threat while a number of them already disappeared.
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology professor Mujibur Rahman said that waterlogging would never be ended by the development of pipeline network.
He suggested pro-natural processes such as rain water reservation at houses, development of natural water reservoir like developed countries as it was environment friendly.
Water resources minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, lawmaker AKM Rahmatullah, and urban planners and experts, among others, spoke at the programme.
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