People of several areas, including Rajarbagh, Malibagh, Mouchak, Motijheel, Gulistan, Karwan Bazar, Farmgate, Mirpur, Tejgaon, Mohammadpur, Badda, Bashundhara Residential Area, Rampura, Old Dhaka and Khilkhet, were unable to move until 12 noon on Tuesday due to severe waterlogging
A pre-monsoon shower inundated the roads of Dhaka city in a space of three hours on Tuesday, calling into question the claims made by the two city corporations regarding monsoon preparedness.
Residents of the city, especially office goers, suffered immensely as the 85mm rainfall recorded by the met office in Dhaka between 6am and 9am had left the capital in knee-deep water for a while.
Dhakaites did not expect to face such an issue this year as the two mayors had taken charge of the drainage system from the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) intending to solve the long-standing problem.
People of several areas, including Rajarbagh, Malibagh, Mouchak, Motijheel, Gulistan, Karwan Bazar, Farmgate, Mirpur, Tejgaon, Mohammadpur, Badda, Bashundhara Residential Area, Rampura, Old Dhaka and Khilkhet, were unable to move until 12 noon due to severe waterlogging.
In some places, many houses were flooded as well, adding to the woes of city dwellers.
Some worried that the situation would only worsen once heavy rainfall started in monsoon.
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Meanwhile, both the mayors maintained their positive outlook on the issue.
“The accumulation of water at a place for more than three hours is usually described as waterlogging, but we were able to drain almost 100% of the water within three hours, although our goal is to do it in an hour,” said Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC).
The number of areas that were inundated was also fewer than last year due to the measures taken by DSCC in the last five months, he added.
The waterlogging problem would be nearly solved in two years once all the relevant projects were completed, he said, holding out an assurance.
Atiqul Islam, mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), said waterlogging continued to exist as the eviction drives against illegal occupation of canals were still ongoing.
“We are working on short-, medium- and long-term plans to reduce waterlogging and control pollution. I have directed the offices concerned to remove waste from sewage lines before the monsoon season ahead,” he added.
It may be recalled that the Dhaka Wasa had handed over the management of drains and canals to DSCC and DNCC on December 31, 2020. The two city corporations claim to have been working towards resolving the waterlogging problem of the city since then.
Rainfall to continue
The Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) said rainfall would gradually increase in the eastern and coastal areas of the country and the capital would see heavy rainfall on Wednesday as well.
The situation in Dhaka would start to improve after Wednesday’s rain, said meteorologist Dr Abdul Mannan.
Besides Dhaka, heavy downpour was recorded in Chittagong (103mm, the highest in the country), Mymensingh and Sylhet division in the 24 hours till 8am on Tuesday.
The BMD forecast that rainfall would increase again after Sunday in Dhaka and Barisal regions.
2 rickshaw pullers electrocuted to death
Two rickshaw pullers — Abdur Razzak, 50, and Md Zia, 45 — died from electrocution on coming in contact with a power cable that fell on a submerged street in Dhaka’s Uttara area after the rain.
The incident took place on Road No 21 in Uttara Sector 10 at around 8am.
They were electrocuted while trying to move their rickshaws, said Uttara West police station OC Shah Md Akhtaruzzaman Elias, adding that a general diary had been filed in this connection.