A project taken by Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) involving Taka 945 crore to re-excavate and protect four major canals and its seven branches from illegal encroachment awaits government approval.
"We have taken a project of about Taka 945 crore to re-excavate, preserve and protect Shyampur, Jirani, Manda and Kalunagar canals and its seven branches from illegal encroachment," DSCC Mayor Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh told BSS in an interview at his Nagar Bhaban office in the city.
Barrister Taposh said necessary measures will be taken to keep water flow normal in the canals and its branches under the jurisdiction of the DSCC round the year. The canals will be given a facelift with building necessary infrastructure including parks and roads nearby, keeping in mind the natural beauty and environment, he continued.
The mayor said the DSCC will continue mobile courts all over the year to evict the illegal occupiers.
DSCC has taken charges of the canals, box-culverts and drains after 34 years from WASA on December 31 last, Taposh said, adding that they have started drives against the illegal occupants alongside removing waste from those since January 2 this year.
The WASA also handed over the pumps to the DSCC although those were found dysfunctional, he said, adding that, "But we have made the pumps functional within a short time".
From January 11 last to March 23, some 730 decimals or 7.30 acre of lands have been set free from illegal occupation adjacent to the canals of Jirani, Manda and Shyampur by conducting several drives.
After recovering the illegally occupied places, as many as 2727 boundary pillars have so far been set up.
The mayor said they have already collected 8 lakh tons of waste from canals, box-culverts and drains since taking the charges of those from WASA by January this year.
After clearing waste from the canals, box-culverts and drains, the capacity of holding water of those water-bodies has increased which helps reduce water-logging significantly, he said.
The mayor said they have unblocked different places of water stream by removing the pile of waste which helps pass water quickly.
He added: "You people (city dwellers) have seen that the DSCC areas witness water-logging for fewer times at a few places in comparison to the last year."
The mayor said they have taken short, mid and long term plans to present the dwellers a city free from water logging as one of the top priorities.
As part of the long-term plan, Barrister Taposh said they have completed a pre-work survey to revive the original Buriganga channel while a process is underway to appoint a consultancy firm to this end.
"We will start working to revive the original Buriganga channel following the advice of the consultancy firm," he added.