The Finance Ministry has rejected a Tk2,500cr proposal of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC), reasoning that the proposal was not submitted to the proper authorities.
The city corporation submitted the proposal seeking financial assistance to mitigate the city’s water-logging crisis.
Generally, city corporations receive funds from the local government division, but the CCC applied to the finance division for assistance, which is a wrong course of action. This is because Finance Minister AMA Muhith rebuffed the proposal, saying it was not properly submitted, finance division officials told the Dhaka Tribune.
The local government division takes necessary measure to provide financial assistance to the city corporations from its budget once they apply for it, the officials explained.
The proposal submitted by CCC Mayor AJM Nasir Uddin reads: “The funds we receive from the government and from our internal sources are being spent in regular excavation and maintenance work of the existing drains and canals. The city corporation does not have sufficient matching funds for implementing government and private development projects and for excavating new canals needed to prevent water-logging.
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Unlike other cities in the country, Chittagong is gifted with a natural drainage system, having a long network of canals, to drain out storm water to the rivers and the Bay of Bengal. But a lack of maintenance of the canals has clogged them, causing the unwarranted urban flooding RABIN CHOWDHURY/DHAKATRIBUNE
“So, the proper implementation of the Drainage Master Plan devised by Chittagong Development Authority is a must to alleviate the crisis.”
According to the CCC, some 15 roads totaling 57km in length have been severely damaged by the recent floods, and the extent of the loss could shoot up to Tk500cr.
Describing the perennial flooding as a “solvable” problem, Nasir said: “I am not sitting idle. I am trying my best to address the problem.”
Several projects have already taken under the Port City Annual Development Programme for excavating new canals from Baraipara in Bahddarhat to the Karnaphuli river to mitigate the water-logging problem in the city’s low-lying areas including Bakalia, Chawkbazar, Bayezid , Muradpur and Bahaddarhat.
Earlier, the mayor in April said a Tk5,000cr project had been taken to prevent water-logging and that a Chinese company, Power China, had already completed a feasibility study at the cost of Tk47cr under the project styled “Chittagong Flood Control and Water-logging Management System.”
The Chinese government-financed project will be implemented in three years following an approval of the Bangladesh government, he said.