Wednesday, 5 October, 2022

When will we learn to value waterbodies?

After the responsibility for taking care of Dhaka’s waterbodies, the two city corporations of the capital have taken some laudable initiatives to solve the long-lasting waterlogging problem by recovering and reinstating rivers, canals and other waterbodies that have been turned into waste dumping sites, in a sense. Immediately after the shifting of the charge, city corporations have started the restoration and renovation process of 26 canals which, we expect, will continue till the last inches of canals are recovered from illegal grabbing. But the sad part is that some facts suggest that people are not cooperating with the corporations.

A photograph published in this daily yesterday shows that the indiscriminate dumping of waste into the old channel of the Buriganga River continues unabated amid re-excavation work on the original channel as part of a project to restore it for solving the waterlogging problem of a large part of the capital. The situation is found at a time when Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) has been working to give back original looks to eight canals, including the old Buriganga channel, and is demarcating the boundary and erecting pillars and fences with a view to protecting them from further grabbing while the waste management department is conducting a cleanliness drive in the canals to ensure water flow. 

Dhaka city, crisscrossed with a network of more than 65 canals and surrounded by several rivers, had the potential to be a city like Venice, but that didn’t happen because of unplanned urbanisations and the authorities and city dwellers’ indifference towards preserving waterbodies. A smooth water flow in these canals would reduce waterlogging problems, reduce traffic jams to some extent and beautify the city. However, to make this happen, the masses have a significant role to play along with city corporations.The common people have to be sincere and honest to preserve the waterbodies. Everyone must keep in mind that these are our national resources and that taking care of them demands conjoint efforts from every individual.