The Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) Mayor Md Rezaul Karim Chowdhury has urged all organisations concerned to work together to address waterlogging in Khatunganj – the country's largest wholesale market – and in the port city.
To this end, the mayor stressed regular and coordinated monitoring by the city corporation, Chittagong Port Authority, and Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) to free Chaktai, Badarkhali and other canals from illegal grabbing and to stop the use of polythene.
While speaking as the chief guest at a seminar "Study on Economic Impact of Waterlogging on Local Trade: The Case of Khatunganj, Chattogram" on Monday, he also underscored the necessity of dredging in the River Karnaphuli to solve the waterlogging.
The seminar was jointly organised by the CCC and the National Resilience Programme (NRP) of the Programming Division of the Planning Commission, in collaboration with the UNDP on Monday.
The mayor proposed that community halls, dormitories for truck drivers, public toilets for general workers and truck terminals can be constructed in the Chaktai-Khatunganj area. Creating this area as a planned special zone would help get rid of waterlogging permanently.
CCCI President Mahbubul Alam said the Khatunganj-Korbaniganj-Chaktai area has a glorious history of sea trade through the Chaktai canal for hundreds of years. Following the catastrophic cyclone of 1991, tidal surges and heavy rains have been causing waterlogging in the area.
Along with this, as a result of the filling of canals, drains and sewers, various warehouses and business establishments have been submerged, causing huge losses to traders, he added.
He hoped that the NRP project would be implemented after the approval by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council.
As a special guest, Khandaker Ahsan Hossain, head of the Programming Division, requested the experts to provide details of short, medium and long-term work plans in the conclusion of their report.
NRP's Project Director Nurun Nahar said the final report of the survey, which was conducted on a small scale, would be published by incorporating the views of stakeholders.
UNDP Programme Analyst Arif Abdullah Khan suggested taking effective measures in solid and liquid waste management on project implementation to find a permanent solution to this problem.
The programme was chaired by the CCC president. Leading businessmen, business leaders, port authorities and higher officials from government agencies were present among others.