A Tk1,621 crore project was started to fix Chittagong’s waterlogging problem. Where is this money going?
We have frequently editorialized about the crippling problem of waterlogging in the capital Dhaka. This problem, however, is also severe in our second-largest city, Chittagong. Despite assurances from the authorities, almost nothing has been done to mitigate this problem, and residents of the port city have been suffering tremendously as a result of this neglect.
Office-goers have had to wade through knee-deep or in some cases waist-deep water to get to work. The low-lying areas of the city were completely flooded, as were many important roads. It is embarrassing when a city as commercially important as Chittagong is brought to its knees in this way after some rainfall.
Back in 2019, a Tk1,621 crore project was started to fix Chittagong’s waterlogging problem. Where is this money going? It is apparent that the sufferings of the residents of the city have not in any way been reduced. The problem is as bad as ever, and it seems that there is very little excuse. It seems that Chittagong, not unlike Dhaka, lacks an integrated action plan that has vision.
It is not enough to earmark large sums of money towards something. Government agencies always seem at odds, and they rarely coordinate on the matter. Then of course, there are the problems of corruption, inefficiency, and unnecessary bureaucracy. As a result, there is a lot of talk, but very little action. In the meantime, the day-to-day hardships that result from waterlogging only get worse.
Bangladesh is a country which gets a lot of rainfall -- we have always known this basic fact. Whether we are speaking of Chittagong, Dhaka, or any other city, there is no excuse for us to be so unprepared for this year after year.