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Dwellers of Dhaka have not got rid of waterlogging woes though the rain stopped for over 24 hours. Several areas were under knee-high water. Photo: Prothom Ali

The dwellers of a number of areas of metropolitan Dhaka have not yet got rid of sufferings caused by waterlogging, even a day after the incessant rains stopped.

Contrary to the ministers’ claim that there would be no water on the street three hours after rain, the resident of some areas fear they might have to live with persistent waterlogging in their surroundings.

On Thursday, water resources minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, in a press conference at the secretariat, said the draining away excessive rainwater within three hours suggests the city’s drainage system is in good shape.

However, several areas of Nazimuddin Road, Tejkunipara, Nakhalpara, Jurain, Matuail, Khilgaon, Basabo and Jatrabari were still seen inundated on Thursday although rain came to a halt on Wednesday afternoon.

The situation in Dhaka-Narayanganj-Demra (DND) embankment area was like flooding.

Addressing the same press conference, local government, rural development and cooperatives minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain said, “No long-term plan was taken for draining away waters of Dhaka as it didn’t rain this much earlier.

Now, we are taking the initiative in view of the situation.”

Recalling his Wednesday’s promise to the city dwellers that there will be no water-logging in the capital next year, Mosharraf said, “I didn’t talk without knowing the matter properly. I am an engineer. I know the solution to this problem. A proposal is there in the planning commission in this regard. Work will begin immediately after it gets nod.”

Areas adjoining Nazimuddin road and Hazi Khorshed Ali Sarker road in Jurain were under waist-high water on Thursday. No class was held at Jurain Ashraf Master Ideal High School as school compound was inundated.

Local people informed  that even a little rainfall accumulates water in the area that remains waterlogged for 5-7 days. Waterlogging turned out to be a ‘permanent’ feature in parts of the area, they said.

There is waterlogging inside the DND embankment almost all the year round. Three days of incessant rains since Monday worsened the situation. The ground floors of houses are under knee-high water in the areas of Matuail, from Jatrabari intersection to Kachpur Bridge, Sonapara and Mridhbari.

Shipon from Mridhbari said to Prothom Alo, “Generally we stay waterlogged for the whole year. But this year the areas inside the embankment have gone underwater.”

Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) additional chief engineer Asaduzzaman said, “No waterlogging was there in areas of DSCC except the Nazimuddin road yesterday. Water Development Board (BWDB) has taken a project to address the waterlogging crisis in Jatrabari and DND Embankment.”

Some areas of Tejkunipara and Nakhalpara were under knee-high water till Thursday evening. Dwellers of these areas said sometimes it takes seven days to drain away water.

Several areas of Khilgaon, Sipahibagh and Goran were inundated due to the rain of the previous day. This correspondent saw people wading through knee-high water at a lane at around 3pm on Thursday.

Tariqul Islam, a dweller at the lane, said that, “What shall I say of my woes! It stopped raining yesterday (Wednesday) but the water remains. Who knows what skin disease I suffer from after wading through this murky water.”

Waterlogging was seen at the main road of Block “A” of Banasree residential area. The road was already in a bad shape with big holes for a long time. Accumulation of rainwater in these holes has made plying vehicles riskier.

However, Dhaka WASA managing director Taksim A Khan, while addressing a press conference at WASA’s headquarters at Karwanbazar on Thursday, claimed, “Four high powered pumps of WASA and one pump of BWDB worked coordinately to remove water.”

Refuting DSCC mayor Sayeed Khokon’s claim that WASA is solely responsible for waterlogging in Dhaka, Taksim further said, “These words of the mayor are contradictory.”

He also urged upon all to work coordinately rather than blaming each other.

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