Demarcating the boundaries of 29 canals and a retention pond in Dhaka north has started with the aim to recover the water bodies from grabbers and address water logging in the city areas.
The Tk27 crore project is expected to be completed within a year, according to Dhaka North City Corporation.
Local Government, Rural Development, and Cooperatives Minister M Tajul Islam, and Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Atiqul Islam inaugurated the work in the city's Kalyanpur on Wednesday.
Bangladesh Army's 14 Independent Engineer Brigade is implementing the project, "Boundary demarcation of 29 canals and Gabtali Retention Pond under Dhaka North City Corporation, and the construction of pillars."
The key work of the project will be the demarcation of canal boundaries, the construction of boundary demarcation pillars for the canals and the retention pond, identifying establishments impeding the flow of canal water, measuring canal water pollution, and identifying places and sources of pollution.
At the programme, Minister Tajul Islam said work on the retention pond in Kalyanpur has not been done in a long time, and 170 of the 173 acre space have already been occupied by land grabbers. A water body like this is a must for Dhaka to rid the city of water logging and make it environment-friendly.
After setting up demarcation pillars, all illegal establishments on canals will also be demolished, he warned.
Admitting that they have had many failures in the past, the minister sought people's cooperation to tackle the challenges they face in demarcating canal boundaries, as it is not possible to do something for people's welfare without their cooperation.
Mayor Atiqul Islam said, "We are facing many obstacles in recovering canals so we have started setting up demarcation pillars. There is no alternative to restoring the flow of water in the canals to prevent water logging in the city."
Admitting that huge challenges have to be faced in doing this task, the mayor said, "We are ready to address the challenges. In setting the canal boundaries, pillars can be built on shops and yards of many people. Everybody should please understand that pillars will be set up where the canals have their boundaries."
Mayor Atiqul urged all to remove their establishments if they are within the boundaries of canals.
Bangladesh Army's Chief Engineer, Ibne Fazal Shayekhuzzaman, said, "First we have to set up boundary pillars. Then we will discuss the coming challenges and how to deal with them. The City Corporation will deal with that with the help of information and data provided by us."