During the rainy season every year, the citizens of Dhaka have to wade through water almost every day to get from one point to another. Water logging in the city has become a terrible problem with no apparent solution.
But if the government took necessary steps to preserve rivers and canals from encroachment, it would reduce water logging, said speakers in a seminar titled "Solutions to reduce water logging", organized at the CIRDAP auditorium in the capital on Sunday.
The seminar, arranged by City Development Journalist Forum, had lawmaker Fazle Hossain Badshah as the chief guest.
"The rivers and canals will die because of unregulated activities by those in power," said Badshah. "It is high time to protect the capital's surrounding rivers by increasing their navigability and retention capacity."
Badshah also said the government should start thinking about handling overpopulation inside the capital.
Panel mayor Kamal Mostofa of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) said: "It is not possible to obtain sustainable advantage unless concerned authorities take initiatives to protect rivers and canals around the capital."
He emphasized upon the government's role to ensure implementation of the initiatives.
Prof Adil Md Khan, general secretary of Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) said in his speech that it was imperative to include all such projects under a master plan.
Meanwhile, Khan Md Bilal , CEO of Dhaka South City Corporation said: "Water logging is becoming a global problem. Rapid changes in climate are causing excessive rainfall and frequent water logging.
"We have to keep this information in mind while undertaking the projects," he added.
He further said proper research, surveys and planning should be done before undertaking any development initiatives.
Director of Dhaka's WASA water supply sector development project AKM Shahid Uddin said if the city has 12-15% reservoirs available at any given time, it would reduce water logging to a great extent.
"Currently, we only have 2% reservoir capacity in Dhaka city, which is extremely insufficient," said Shahid.
"We have started dredging 16 out of the 40 canals surrounding the capital," said the director. "We have also undertaken a pilot project for the preservation of rainwater."