WASA to hand charge of draining Dhaka rainwater to city corporations

  • Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-11-26 19:17:12 BdST

bdnews24

The government has decided to pass the responsibility of drainage system management to remove rainwater and solve the waterlogging problem in Dhaka on to the city corporations from Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority or WASA.

It has formed a technical committee to determine the handover process with Muhammad Ibrahim, additional secretary to the local government ministry, as its convener and Deputy Secretary Md Saidur Rahman as member secretary.

LGRD Minister Tajul Islam shared the information on Thursday following a meeting on putting the city corporations in charge of the canals in a bid to address the waterlogging problem in Dhaka.

The technical committee will include eight representatives, four from the city corporations and as many from the WASA.

The handover process will begin after the technical committee submits their report in one month.

Earlier, the city corporation had been responsible for the management, cleaning and maintenance of the drainage system and canals as per the law.

But the responsibility was shifted to Dhaka WASA following a presidential order and it had been doing the job until now.

Both the mayors in city corporations are keen to work for the benefit of the people and they will be able to perform this task, the minister said.

Waterlogging in the capital's Mirpur after heavy overnight rain disrupts traffic on Monday.

WASA will still be responsible for overseeing the water supply and sewerage system in the city, the local government minister said.

They have reached a consensus on the issue, he said.

“It is an important day for us. The meeting was called to make this historic decision,” Dhaka North City Mayor Atiqul Islam said.

“We have reached an agreement to implement what we envisioned. There are many technical issues here. We want to end the sufferings of people caused by the waterlogging in the city and therefore, reached a consensus in the meeting,” he said.

They will try their best to recover the illegally encroached canals to protect the residents from waterlogging, the mayor said.

The 60-foot wide Kalshi canal shrank to 5 feet due to encroachment, he pointed out.

“It is not expected by anyone. Encroachers have grabbed both sides of the canal. The authorities will recover it and give it a facelift with a walkway and cycle lane along it.”

It was a timely decision to end the long-pending problem, said Dhaka South City Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh.

“You are aware that in 1988, the responsibility for the Public Health Engineering Department was given to WASA though the city corporation was supposed to have it,” he said.

“The residents of Dhaka have suffered for 30 years since then. This is a new beginning for us. I hope to provide some good results to the people in Dhaka,” he said.

Reporters asked Mayor Taposh if overseeing the canals will be an extra responsibility for the city corporation.

“The Dhaka citizens have chosen their leaders (mayors) through an election. As per the people’s mandate, I dare to accept this challenge and we will provide the people with a solution to this problem. We have taken the huge task braving all hurdles,” he said.

They wrote to the city corporations many times to take the responsibility, but they never responded, said Taqsem A Khan, the managing director of Dhaka WASA.

“This (waterlogging) did not happen due to our failure,” he claimed.