To save the capital's people from waterlogging, the banks of all of Dhaka's canals will be cleared to normalise the flow of water.
Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister M Tajul Islam said this at a seminar on waterlogging in Dhaka, organised by the Bangladesh Awami League's science and technology sub-committee at the Institution of Engineers Bangladesh (IEB) in the capital on Friday.
Speaking as chief guest at the event, the minister said illegal occupants on every canal in Dhaka city would be evicted. Walkways will be constructed with dams on both sides of the canal and canals under the jurisdiction of the ministry of public works will soon be handed over to the city corporations. At present, major portions of most of the canals have been encroached upon, disrupting the normal flow of water.
Tajul said utility services will be priced based on zones, because the living cost of a person living in Gulshan and a person living in Jatrabari is not the same. The price of electricity, gas and water has to be set taking this into consideration.
At the event, Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Atiqul Islam said hundreds of buildings have been built illegally on the canals of the capital. The days of occupying the canals with muscle power is over. Now, illegal encroachers will be evicted without notice. Canal rescue and cleaning activities will continue with the help of the people. The boundaries of the two banks of each canal will be demarcated and proper maintenance will be ensured.
Dhaka North City Corporation is working on short, medium, and long term plans to reduce waterlogging and curb pollution in the city, the mayor added.
Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology's Civil Engineering department Professor, Md Mofizur Rahman, delivered the keynote address at the seminar presided over by Awami League Advisory Council Member Hossain Mansur.
Professor Rahman said people in the city dwellers can easily get relief from waterlogging if coordinated efforts are made to resolve the problem.
"We consume only 15% of the water supplied to Dhaka by WASA and the rest goes to the canals. Now, if the canals are occupied, waste accumulates creating waterlogging," he added.
IEB Dhaka Centre Secretary, Engineer Kazi Khairul Bashar, conducted the seminar.