Wednesday, 24 July, 2024, Reg No- 06
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Long-term plans needed to protect Sylhet from recurring floods  

Published : Thursday, 20 June, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 262

Long-term plans needed to protect Sylhet from recurring floods  

Long-term plans needed to protect Sylhet from recurring floods  

Sylhets flooding is long-standing. When the monsoon season comes, Sylhet faces various problems. Flooding has become one of the major problems of Sylhet.

Many areas including roads get submerged in the slightest rain. Water rose up to two-three feet in the areas. But this water takes three to four days and in some cases one to a month. As a result, people and vehicles have to suffer a lot on the roads.

Early floods occurred in Sylhet from last May 27. Several lakh people of about 12 upazilas were affected by this flood which lasted for two weeks. Before the flood water receded completely, flood occurred again in Sylhet.

In Sylhet, due to heavy rains and landslides from upstream, the flood situation has worsened again. It is known that from Friday to Sunday, at least 4 upazilas of Sylhets low-lying areas sank again. The 4 upazilas are Companyganj, Goainghat, Kanighat and Osmaninagar.
According to the sources of Water Development Board (PUBO), the water of two rivers in Sylhet is flowing above the danger level. At 6 pm on Saturday, Surma river water flowed 40 cm above the danger level at Kanighat and Kushiara river water flowed 57 cm above the danger level at Fenchuganj point.

Sylhet Executive Engineer Deepak Ranjan Das said that due to heavy rains in Cherrapunji, Sylhet has increased the water level of the rivers. If the rainfall continues like this, then the situation in Sylhet can be very dire.If more than 200 mm of rain falls in Cherrapunji, India, there is a risk of major floods in Sylhet.

Long-term plans needed to protect Sylhet from recurring floods  

Long-term plans needed to protect Sylhet from recurring floods  

Among the main rivers of Sylhet, especially the Surma, Kushiara, the bottom of the river is filled, the various reservoirs of Sylhet city and its surrounding areas are filled and encroached, and excessive rainfall in Meghalaya upstream of Sylhet, etc. And later it causes floods and waterlogging in the city.

One of the main causes of flooding in Sylhet is the lack of a poor sewage system. Canals, the main means of water drainage, are filled with illegal encroachments and solid waste. Sylhet citys canals, drains, box culverts and brick sewage lines are not able to get water to the river.

There are also problems with the drainage system. Where various wastes such as polythene and other non-perishable materials are easily washed away with water and get stuck in the drain, as a result water cannot be drained easily, resulting in waterlogging.

In the last three decades, more than half hundred dighis (ponds) of Sylhet city have been filled. According to Bangladesh Environmental Law Association, Sylhet city had more than half a hundred big dams even 15/20 years ago. But now only 10/11 are ok. The rest are filled.

Apart from this, about 25 small and big natural canals flow through Sylhet. The canals originate from the foothills of the hills and merge into the Surma river. These canals used to drain water during monsoons. As a result, waterlogging does not occur. Now many of these canals cannot be traced.As the canals get clogged, even a little rain causes flooding across the city.

There are many people who do not have their own homes. At night, the rush takes shelter in different alleys of the city. But they also lost that shelter due to flooding. From pedestrians to small vehicles, potholes are often embarrassing. Sometimes there are serious injuries. Therefore, steps should be taken to resolve the waterlogging of Chittagong city.

Along with common people, the government should take effective steps in this regard. If only the government or the city corporation will not work to control the flooding, the consequences will be very dire. If Sylhet is to be flood-free through proper planning and implementation, it is possible to prevent flooding by digging the river Surma and constructing dams on both banks. The government needs to be alert and warn others about this.

The writer is from Department of Sociology, Dhaka College







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