Addressing waterlogging not an overnight job

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2 years in office of Ctg Mayor

Addressing waterlogging not an overnight job

AJM Nasir Uddin tells The Independent


Publication Date: 28 July, 2017 
Media: The Independent

Addressing the waterlogging problem was the main item in the 35-point election manifesto of AJM Nasir Uddin during the 2015 Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) poll. In the last two years, he has spent about Tk. 54 crore to clean drains and excavate canals, but the city’s infamous waterlogging problem only seems to have worsened.

Nasir completed two years as mayor on July 26. When asked, the mayor said he could not possibly change the waterlogging scenario overnight.

He alleged that the city’s drainage system had not been properly built, adding that it was hard to address a problem that went back as long as 30-40 years.

“The mayor has not been able to work as promised by his election manifesto,” said Prof. Sikandar Khan, president of the Chittagong chapter of Sushoner Jannor Nagorik (SUJAN). “However, the mayor has been successful in evicting billboards from the city,” he added.

The mayor blamed climate change for part of the problem. “Owing to climate change, mud from the hills is coming down with rainwater and choking the drains. Excessive rain and tidal surges are compounding the problem of waterlogging in the city. As a result, commuters are suffering. I’m sorry for that,” he said.

He also said it was important to take up projects under a comprehensive plan to address the issue of waterlogging. “Two years are not enough to resolve all the problems. More time is needed for that,” he added. “We’re working to make the situation better.

We’re cleaning the drains and canals on a regular basis. The tidal surges are gaining in height. To address that, we need long-term projects. This requires patience,” he said.

“There is no way to address the problem of waterlogging quickly. The city dwellers have to wait and put up with it. We hope we’d able to address it in time,” he added.

The mayor said as part of the long-term initiative to tackle the problem, a Tk. 603 core project was being prepared. There would be no waterlogging if the project was implemented, he claimed.

After becoming the mayor, Nasir Uddin has taken step to make Chittagong a green and clean city. For this, the CCC started collecting garbage door-to-door at night instead of daytime. The city corporation also distributed nine lakh plastic dustbins among householders, shopping malls and shops in 41 wards of city.

To speed up the cleaning work, a total of 1,701 labourers have been recruited. Awareness campaigns are carried out with loudspeakers. Although the city was beginning to look clean, the condition has become worse with monsoon.

The mayor expressed discontent over the role of city dwellers in keeping the city clean. He, however, hoped to make Chittagong a fully clean city by this December.

Nasir Uddin has succeeded in freeing the skyline of Chittagong from billboards. Over 5,000 billboards were removed from the city in the last two years.  On April 28, 2015, Awami League-backed candidate AJM Nasir Uddin defeated BNP-backed candidate with a large margin of 1, 70,524 votes. He took oath as mayor on June 6 and assumed the office of mayor on July 26.

Shamsuddin Illius
Shamsuddin Illius is a print and online media journalist. He has been working in the field (fulltime) of journalism since 2010. He is very much passionate about journalism since his early age. Currently he is the Bureau Chief-Chittagong at The Business Standard.

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