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Friday, October 19, 2018
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Star Chittagong

Students on the way to schools and colleges are seen braving tidal water that inundates CDA residential area during the high tide while a rickshaw van, right, makes its way in the tidal water.Photo: STAR
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More than one lakh people living at North Agrabad ward in the port city have long been experiencing inundation due to onrush of tidal water even in the dry season.

The residents of CDA Residential Area and different blocks of Halishahar housing estate are the worst sufferers.

Tidal water of the Bay of Bengal enters the area of the city centre through Mohesh Khal (canal) from the river Karnaphuli.

The residents want a permanent solution to the problem through renovation and proper maintenance of the canal and the adjoining drains as well as building a sluice gate at the Saltgola point.

Most of the 40,000 residents living in around 350 plots along 29 roads of the posh CDA Residential Area are now forced to shift their houses elsewhere as abrupt inundation keep them hostage during the high tide of every full moon.

"There was a time when boats carrying goods moved through the canal and one could take pride being a resident of this posh residential area amid such a scenic beauty," said Khairul Alam Suzan.

"But, now the area is emerging rather like a sorrow and water trap forcing us to think of shifting houses to elsewhere," said Suzan, a businessmen of shipping sector who had been living in the area for around four decades.

Ground floors and underground water tanks of most of the houses go under water during high tide and the situation worsens during downpour, said Sirajul Islam, president of Agrabad Residential Area Socio Cultural Association (ARASCA).

The situation deteriorated after June 11 devastating rain when the whole area went under chest-deep water and it is worsening day by day, he said.

During the full moon tide, the residents are to face a great hurdle twice a day while going out for work in the morning and returning home in the afternoon.

Of the residents, miseries of over 4,000 studying in nearby educational institutions like Hate Khori High School, Agrabad Girls High School and Agrabad Mahila College at CDA residential area, Bank Colony School, Agrabad Government Colony High School, Forest Colony School and Kalakakali High School know no bound due to the inundation and waterlogging even in the summer.

Patients coming to the nearby Chittagong Maa O Shishu Hospital and people visiting different offices in the area also fall victim to the inundation during high tide.

Anwara Alam, principal of Agrabad Mahila College at Road No 17, said they were forced to suspend classes before the scheduled time for break almost everyday during the first fortnight of this month since tidal water flooded the class rooms and office rooms.

The inundated roads also cause accidents, injuring people while returning home by vehicles or rickshaws at this time when private cars getting stuck under knee-deep water are a common scene.

ARASCA Secretary General ABM Rezaul Karim said they urged the acting city mayor M Manjurul Alam at a meeting recently to raise the height of roads in the CDA residential area, including Road No 17 where three renowned educational institutions are situated.

Around 70,000 residents of Muhuripara, Panwalapara, Daiyapara, Uttara, Agrabad Excess Road, Shyamali, Shantibagh, K-block and L-block of Halishahar housing estate are also facing the same problem due to the inundation.

Acting Chief Engineer of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Nizamuddin Chowdhury said tidal water usually enters the port city through 22 points of different canals stretching from Kalurghat Mohra to North Patenga.

The water entering through other 21 points recedes immediate after the high tide without affecting nearby areas.

But, the water entering through Saltgola point of Mohesh Khal near Chittagong port get stuck to create waterlogging and inundation at CDA Residential Area and adjoining areas since the locality sits three feet below the tidal level, Nizamuddin said.

He said CCC has already started re-excavation of Mohesh Khal through eviction of encroachers up to Chhotopool point.

Re-excavation or renovation might not help much as the area is situated beneath the tidal level unless a sluice gate at Soltgola point is constructed, Nizamuddin said.

AHM Mainul Hoque, who has been living in CDA residential area for 24 years, urged the authorities concerned to take short-term and long-term measures to rid the residents of the posh residential area of inundation and waterlogging.

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