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Ctg drains veritable death traps

CCC, CDA look unmoved

Published : Thursday, 9 December, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 434
Nurul Amin

CHATTOGRAM, Dec 8: The drains of the Port city have now turned into death traps for the pedestrians particularly during the heavy rains.
At least three people, including a university student and a minor boy were killed within a span of four months, after they fell into the drains left unfenced.
Of them, the latest incident took place last Monday. A ten-year-old boy who slipped into the drain could not be found till Wednesday night.
The ten-year-old Kamal fell into the Chasma Khal, on the afternoon of December 6 at Sholashahar Railway Station area under Panchlaish Police Station. Kamal's falling into the drain is the third incident since August 25 this year.
The first incident took place on August 25 when one 55-year-old vegetable trader Saleh Ahmed had fallen into the drain near Muradpur intersection.
In the second such incident on September 27, one 19-year-old university student Sehrin Mahbub Sadia had fallen into an uncovered drain at Agrabad area.
On the following day her body was recovered.
It may be mentioned that Chattogram Fire Service and Civil Defence divers had failed to recover the body of the first victim Saleh Ahmed after even after conducting a seven-day rescue operation.
Meanwhile, locals informed the fire service of Kamal's disappearance on Tuesday afternoon after his family could not find him for 24 hours.
Fire service divers rushed to the spot and started a rescue operation around 4:30pm but still, they could not locate missing Kamal.
According to local people, two boys-Rakib and Kamal-from the nearby slum were playing in the area in the afternoon when both of them had fell into the open drain around 4:30pm. Rakib, however, managed to get out but Kamal could not.
Kawsar, Kamal's grief-stricken father, was found showing people his son's photograph in the hope that they would find him out.
Moreover, in June, a CNG-run auto-rickshaw driver and a passenger were killed as their vehicle fell into a drain at Chashma Hill in Hill View area.
The city dwellers opined that the uncovered drains in Chattogram city are posing grave threats to the pedestrians as it becomes difficult for them to pin point those risky roadside drains when the roads get inundated after a light rainfall.
But neither the Chattogram City Corporation nor the Chattogram Port Authority (CDA) is ready to take responsibility for such deaths. City planners are being blamed for taking no action against those responsible for the recurrence of such accidents.
Most canals remained uncovered as the CDA has been expanding those under a Tk 5,000 crore project taken up to remove waterlogging from the port city.
The incidents of pedestrians being washed away by the water in drains usually happen during the monsoon when roads go under water after rain.
According to Chattogram City Corporation, there is around 946-kilometre stretch of drains in the city, but it has no information on how many of those are covered with slabs.  Besides, the length of 57 canals is 161km, but there are no safety barriers along risky areas of those canals.
Last year, two children, Munni Akhter, 14 and Jhuma, 18, died after falling into the Maheshkhal Canal in Halishahar area and in 2017, a government official died after falling into a drain near Shilpakala.

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