The government is likely to take up a Tk 550 crore project to remove the nagging waterlogging problem at 13 points of Dhaka city.
As part of the effort, Dhaka WASA has sent a project proposal titled ‘Expansion of Drainage Network and Developing Canals of Dhaka City’ to the Planning Commission for approval, sources said.
The project is intended for removing waterlogging in Dhanmondi, Hazaribagh, Shankar, Jigatola and Rayerbazar area under Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Mohammadpur, Shyamoli, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Darus Salam, Mirpur, Pallabi, Cantonment, Uttara and Airport areas under Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC).
Besides, the surroundings of the existing canals in project areas will be improved through building embankments and walkways after re-excavating and expanding the water bodies.
The proposed project will remove the obstacles in the canals to facilitate smooth flow of stormwater in the drainage management zone-1 and 2, a Planning Commission official said.
With the initiative, some 52 lakh city dwellers will be relieved of waterlogging problem. The project will also help ensure smooth movement of traffic and pedestrians during heavy rainfall, the official added.
Official sources said the Planning Commission has completed necessary scrutiny of the project and the project proposal will be tabled at the next meeting of Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) for final approval.
Once approved, Dhaka WASA will implement the project by December 2020.
The government seeks to ensure safe drinking water for all and cent percent sanitation coverage in urban areas by 2021 in line with the 7th Five-Year Plan.
The drainage system of Dhaka city is operated through 44 canals with the total length of 151kms, boasting 10 box culverts, and few thousand kilometres of pipelines of different agencies.
Canals are the primary infrastructure of any drainage system that carries storm or rainwater into rivers.
There are 43 natural canals in Dhaka city. Of them, 26 are under Dhaka WASA. But most of the canals did not see any permanent infrastructural development.
As a result, water cannot flow through the drainage system during heavy rainfalls, creating waterlogging problems in some important city points.
The proposed project has been designed to improve civic amenities in the capital alongside expanding the drainage network and developing canals to help carry stormwater quickly.
Under the project, 20km canals will be re-excavated, 11.33km canals will be maintained, 8.21km RCC pipes will be procured, storm sewer will be constructed and 7.13km roads will be renovated.
The project also includes construction of 1.10km U-type channel, 1.27km retaining wall, road and crossing and acquisition of 0.3 acres of land, among others.