Works worth around Tk400m in repairing, maintaining, developing and constructing drainage and sewerage system in different areas of Barisal City Corporation could not reduce the water logging crisis of the city.
Executive Engineer BCC Abdul Motaleb said at least Tk400m was spent over last four years to repair, maintain and develop the drainage system of the city.
However, Enayet Hossain Chowdhury, former secretary of Barisal Nagorik Parishad, alleged that maximum portion of the money spent for drainage and sewerage systems were manipulated by doing the works without maintaining any transparency and sustainable scientific planning.
After visiting different areas of the city, it was found that those works were done by filling canals and other water bodies in Battatala, Nabogram, Kawnia, C and B road, Sagordi and Amanatganj areas.
Consequently these infrastructures narrowed even in some places closed down the facilities for speedy dispatching of logged water during downpour and flash floods.
Some residents of the city alleged that the authority only think about the water logging for few hours on city roads, but never think of the people who are bound to live months after months in the areas inundated by flash floods, tidal upsurges and downpours in absence of proper drainage and sewerage system.
Barisal, the “Venice of Bengal,” had more than 17 canals and over 300 ponds in the post-liberation period. However, the sad part of the story is: only three canals – Jail Khal, Sagordi Khal and Amanatganj Khal – remained partially navigable during the rainy season, while most of the ponds disappeared due to development and construction of roads, drainage and sewerage systems by filling those water bodies.
Suvas Chandra Bipro Bedanti, former district coordinator of Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association made the comment, saying that this damage to the city has been made in the name of developments and constructing low-height culverts over the water bodies.
Meanwhile, the mayoral candidates of the upcoming BCC poll, during their election campaign, have been assuring the electorate that they would eradicate the water logging crisis of the city if they were elected in the poll.
The 18 party alliance backed candidate Ahsan Habib Kamal alleged that the incumbent Mayor has done some “lipstick developments and beautifications” in the name of eradicating water logging to misappropriate huge funds.
“I will free the city from long-term water logging by implementing a master plan,” Kamal asserted.
The ruling party backed candidate Shawkat Hossain Hiron denied such allegations, saying that all development works were done according to the plans approved by the body of experts.
If he would be re-elected as Mayor, he would finish the incomplete works and will make the city free from water logging crisis, Hiron assured.