Residents of Chattogram city woke up to a bad day yesterday, as incessant rainfall brought back all-too-familiar problems.
In the 24 hours till 9am yesterday, the Chattogram Met Office recorded 121.2 mm of rain, said met officer Sheikh Harunur Rashid.
Most low-lying areas in the city — Chawkbazar, West Bakalia DC Road, KB Aman Ali Road, Katalganj, Kapasgola, Bahaddarhat, Muradpur, Sholashahar, Halishahar, Agrabad CDA, Chandgaon and Shulakbahar — went under knee- to waist-deep water, as streets got flooded by water mixed with filth, overflown from roadside drains.
Residents blamed authorities concerned for their sufferings, saying that they failed to bring about any improvement in waterlogging for over a decade, while continuing to point their fingers at the Chattogram Development Authority (CDA) mega project.
The submerged roads were not just a matter of inconvenience. For some, it became a safety issue.
A CNG-run auto-rickshaw fell into a drain in Chandgaon residential area as the driver could not see it under water. An injured passenger had to be rushed to Chattogram Medical College Hospital, said Mustafizur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Chandgaon Police Station.
But beyond just commute issues, the never-ending problem is also posing health risks for the residents.
“It’s a health hazard in my family,” said Uzir Ali Shah Bylane’s Sadhan Das. “Most of the 16 members of my family have been suffering from diarrhoea and upset stomach because filthy water has leaked into our ground floor water tank.”
He went on to ask why the Chattogram Development Authority could not alleviate the situation in three years since its launching.
Abdul Hamid, a resident of West Bakalia DC Road also put the blame on Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) for not cleaning the drains and canals properly and regularly.
“Water cannot flow freely through the drains and canals due to the waste stuck in them,” he said.
Denying the allegations, CCC deputy chief conservancy officer Morshedul Alam Chowdhury said they clean up drains and canals regularly, but some residents keep indiscriminately throwing household wastes in them, making CCC’s task difficult.
Contacted, Lt Col Md Shah Ali, project director of the CDA mega project, said the ongoing waterlogging is occurring due to the coincidence of heavy rainfall during the time of high tide.
“As the canals were filled up with water due to high tide, rainwater could not recede,” he said.
“We will set up tidal regulators at the mouths of five canals in the city by October. The regulators will regulate tidal water and control the situation during heavy rainfall,” he said.
“A significant improvement will happen with waterlogging from the next monsoon,” he assured.