The Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) started removing waste from the Trimohoni Gudaraghat section of the Jirani canal with an excavator on Thursday morning to keep the water of the canal flowing and to rescue occupied parts of the canal.
The work started with a single excavator of DSCC in the morning, but another excavator of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority was added at around 1 pm.
Floating waste and water hyacinth have been manually removed from the canal for the last two days, however, the activities have been slowed down due to insufficient manpower and equipment.
Locals told The Business Standard that, the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) removed nominal water hyacinth or floating waste from the canal every two-three years.
Some people residing on the canal banks recalled a time when just 15-20 years ago, various species of fish could be found in the canals of this region. Now, the water is now black and stinking - so badly polluted that WASA has banned the public from using it, or even touching it.
They said that the public would be immensely relieved if the DSCC could remove the waste and restore water flow.
Chief Waste Management Officer of Dhaka South City Air Commodore Mohammad Badrul Amin observed the waste removal activities at noon and told TBS, "Our cleaning staff removed the floating waste and water hyacinth from the canals over two days. Since Thursday, we have started evicting illegal occupants according to canal size."
Regarding the slow pace of work with inadequate equipment and manpower, he said, "We will add hundreds of cleaners, other manpower and separate equipment at each point. We will continue our activities to restore water flow by removing waste collected in the five-kilometer section of Jirani canal."
Thursday was the 6th day of the DSCC's canal cleaning drive. Waste removal activities are currently underway from Panthapath and Segunbagicha box culverts in the capital. Using excavators, dozers, and gravers, 106 tonnes of waste have been removed from drainage pits at Panthakunj, Panthapath and Russell Square.
About 125 tonnes of waste were removed from these two points on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Waste is being manually disposed from the Gopibagh outlet of the Segunbagicha culvert due to an excess of indigestible material found.
DNCC waste management officers visited Ibrahimpur canal last Saturday, made a map and formally started waste removal from the Ibrahimpur canal from Monday onwards. They also demolished several illegal structures on the Ibrahimpur canal.