Bangladesh Army is implementing the mammoth project with a budget of Tk5,616 crore
The director general (DG) of Bangladesh Army's 34 Engineering Construction Brigade has said that eviction drives against illegal structures built on the canals of Chittagong would begin from the month of Ramadan.
Brigadier General Tanvir Mazhar Siddique, the DG, said: "The encroachers will not be spared. We are optimistic that this time the sufferings from the port city's waterlogging will reduce as the drains and canals will be cleared."
He said this while speaking at view-exchange meeting over the project titled "Canal re-excavation, extension, renovation and development to address waterlogging in the Chittagong city", held at the brigade's headquarters in Dampara.
Bangladesh Army is implementing the mammoth project with a budget of Tk5,616 crore.
"A decision was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting to pull down illegal structures built on the canals," he said, adding that the eviction drive would commence from Ramadan.
"An action plan will be prepared involving the Chittagong City Corporation, the Chittagong Development Authority (CDA), the Chittagong Metropolitan Police, and other concerned authorities," said Brigadier General Siddique.
He claimed that since the port city was gifted with a natural drainage system consisting of a long network of canals for draining out storm water into the rivers and the sea, it should not be waterlogged.
"Structures that have sprung up illegally on the canals are obstructing the free flow of storm water and cause waterlogging," he added.
Earlier on August 9, last year, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the colossal project which is scheduled to be completed by 2020.
Later on April 9, the CDA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the engineering corps of the Bangladesh Army.
As per the MoU, the CDA—under the Housing and Public Works Ministry—would implement the project under the supervision of the Bangladesh Army.
Removal of about 528,000 cubic metres of dirt and 420,000 cubic metres of sludge from 36 canals has been planned.
About 11km of connecting drains would also be built and 107 acres of land acquired under the project.
The project entities include: re-excavation of 36 canals within the city areas, construction of 12 sluice gates and a pump house on the estuary of six canals, construction of six culverts, procurement of necessary equipment, cleaning of 320km-long existing drains, construction of retaining wall of 178km, construction of 48 girder bridges, re-excavation of all existing drains within a 302km area, and installation of 880 electric poles.
A total of 57 canals carry wastes and rainwater of Chittagong to the rivers and the sea but fail to remove waste and rainwater because of illegal occupation and clogging.