Most house owners in Dhaka have connected their sewage discharge pipes to the surface drains of the City Corporation instead of sewage management networks.
This results in severe pollution to the lakes in and around the capital.
Campaigns will be conducted in every ward in Dhaka North City Corporation to block those illegal sewage lines, the city corporation mayor Atiqul Islam told UNB.
Sewage networks should not be connected to the city corporation's surface drains in any way. The house owners should immediately disconnect those illegal lines. If not, it will be permanently disconnected by the city corporation authorities, the Mayor alerted the house owners.
“Campaign will continue in every ward of the city corporation in phases and no compromise will be made in this regard,” Atiq said.
To make the campaign successful, Mayor Atiqul put emphasis on creating awareness among the house owners. Besides, ward councilors and city corporation officials will perform their respective duties to resolve the problem, added the Mayor.
“We repeatedly asked the house owners not to connect their sewage lines to the surface drains but they did not pay any importance. We have even given public notification to be aware in this regard but we did not get any positive response from them. So we have been compelled to conduct a drive,” he said. “Strict action will be taken against those who are involved in these illegal activities."
“We had a meeting with the representatives of Baridhara and Gulshan Society over the issue but no one is paying attention even after saying it again and again”, he said.
Mayor Atiqul Islam said, "Illegal sewage connections in elite areas is a matter of great regret. The wastes of these houses are supposed to flow through separate WASA lines. Where there are no water lines, ETP plants should be installed by the house owners to manage the wastes."
He said, “We have conducted a ground survey in Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara and Niketan areas of the city and the findings are appalling. According to the survey, about 85 percent of the houses have sewage lines in surface drains. It is verily alarming in such VIP areas. It is polluting the canal and lake water. To save the city, the authorities were forced to plug these connections.”
At least 3,830 houses were surveyed in these four areas. Of these houses, 3,265 houses discharged sewage directly into surface drains and lakes. Only 41 houses have proper sewerage connection and 524 houses have partial sewage management. As a result, the natural beauty of the lake is being destroyed and mosquito infestation is increasing.
Out of 550 houses in Baridhara, which is known as the most elite area of the country, 342 houses have connected their sewage lines to surface drains. The survey report found, only 5 houses in Baridhara have not been connected to surface drains out of eight level criteria laid down while 203 houses met few of the conditions. On the other hand, 342 houses did not fulfill a single condition, whose house sewage line is connected to the surface drain.
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As part of the drive, the city corporation placed banana trees in the drains to stop the flow of waste coming from the sewerage lines of four houses in the Baridhara-11 area.
According to the DNCC, the Sanitation Compliance Committee comprising the chief waste management officer of DNCC in Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara and Niketan areas, former professor of BUET Md Mujibur Rahman, representatives of Dhaka Wasa, International Training Network Centre (ITN-BUET), housing society and UNICEF supervised the survey work.
Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) started an operation this month to stop the connection of sewage to surface drains, canals or lakes. As part of the campaign, DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam took part in the campaign and stopped the sewage connection of two houses from the surface drain on Road No. 104 and 112 of Gulshan-2.
Additionally, the lake's high water contamination makes it impossible to cultivate the fish. Therefore, natural repellents to kill mosquitoes are not possible due to the inability to farm fish, Mayor Atiq said.
"As we do not have any scheduled campaign at this moment, we are creating awareness among the house owners, especially the owners of newly constructed buildings over the issue", Md Mizanur Rahman, CEO of Dhaka South City Corporation, told UNB.
"Besides, we are giving time to disconnect all the old houses which are already connected to the sewerage line of the City Corporation and transfer them to WASA drainage," he added.