Monday, 20 September, 2021

Waterlogging in port city

When will the agony end?

Because of its geo-physical features, Chattogram would have been one of the most beautiful cities in the country, if not in the world. Actually, it had the prospect in the remote past. The city always looked fresh as a moderate amount of rain would have washed away the port city with the rainwater flowing downhill. Along with its economic importance, the city still is famous for its natural beauty but has lost the image in terms of liveability. While visiting one of the oldest ports of the world, someone would hardly get an idea about how dirt-free the city was even a couple of decades ago, rather they will find themselves in a filthy concrete jungle among beautiful hills, thanks to denizens’ irresponsible behaviours and unplanned urbanisation that have blocked the drainage systems.

Rainwater that was a blessing once has now turned into a curse. Creating immense suffering for commuters and dwellers, even light to moderate rain submerges many areas of the country’s second-largest city and causes severe waterlogging. A picture published on the front page of this daily's yesterday's issue speaks volumes all about the suffering of people living in the business capital. Vehicles and rickshaws were seen struggling to move through knee-deep water on a busy road submerged by rainwater in Muradnagar area, when a related report stated that the situation of low-laying areas, including Khatunganj and Halishahar, did not differ much.

People have been suffering from waterlogging problems in the city for a long time, but there is no sign of a let-up in it. Different projects have been taken with a view to improving the drainage system and reducing the agony of people, the city dwellers are still in the same situation they were a few years ago. Then a question comes, would the problem really be solved? If yes, when?

The city observes the progress of different projects taken to improve the standard of livings; those developments, however, would not be feasible or attractive to dwellers if they have to go through the same agonising experience of waterlogging every now and then. Is it actually believable that the problem is beyond the capability of the authorities to solve? If not, the hidden truth behind the dilly-dallying approach must be found out. People want a real solution to the long-standing problems, not any false assurance.