The waterlogging in the capital is mainly caused by filling and encroachment of canals, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Md Atiqul Islam said today.
"We are trying to rescue all the encroached canals, including the ones in Kallyanpur. The canals in Dhaka have become substantially narrower in the metropolitan survey. To save the city, the canals must be brought back to their original condition according to CS (Cadastral survey) and SA (State acquisition) marks," the mayor said.
Mayor Atiqul made the remarks to journalists at the inauguration ceremony of the painting of 77 portraits of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by 77 painters on the occasion of her 77th birthday at Nagar Bhaban in Gulshan.
The DNCC mayor said, "Water is taking longer to flow because of the polythene and bottles that have been dumped down the drains. Due to lack of space in the alleys, the drains cannot be widened. It is not possible to widen the drains without 20ft of road space.
"Reservoirs and canals must not be damaged because doing so will cause further flooding."
On Thursday, heavy rain accompanied by thunderstorms lashed Dhaka. The capital's main roadways were submerged in water, causing disruptions in traffic. Four people, including three of a family, also died on that night after being electrocuted as a live wire fell in rain water in Mirpur.
"We are saddened by the electrocution incident in Mirpur. These people died due to the mismanagement of illegal power lines," said Mayor Atiqul.
"Our regional executive officer had disconnected this illegal power line connection a month ago. I have learned that a madrasa had illegally connected this electricity line. Those who have given illegal electricity connection must take responsibility for the incident of electrocution," he added.
The DNCC mayor said that Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) has been tasked with developing a master plan to calculate how much money will be spent to underground Dhaka's power lines.
"The undergrounding of electrical lines is an expensive job. We want to do this work in order to keep the city safe. BUET has been tasked with developing a master plan for the electricity lines. Following receipt of their report, the next line of action will be determined," he added.
About the impact of climate change, the mayor said, "I recently called on world leaders at a conference in the United States to provide funds to address the damage caused by climate change. Climate change is causing a slew of problems.
"It is getting increasingly difficult to deal with the negative effects of climate change on a regular basis. Foreign help is required to combat climate change."