Everyone was well aware that there would be water-logging in Chittagong. The meteorological department had already forecast heavy rains. But were those in charge of Chittagong’s development prepared for this? This question now looms large. The administration had no preparation. It was only when the city was pitched into disaster that they tried to come up with makeshift solutions.
We have noted managerial glitches in road construction and supervision in Chittagong city. But the Chittagong City Corporation, the Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) and the politicians from Chittagong who have become ministers, have created their own power niches in which they operate. They are engrossed with their own respective pet projects, some busy with the Mirserai economic zone, some with flyovers, some with the port and others with the roads. But no integrated initiative has been taken to address the problems of Chittagong city.
The requirements of the people are not taken into cognizance when it comes to development in Chittagong. The construction of flyovers is an example of this. Every year Tk 500 crore (Tk 5 billion) is spent on road repairs. Over Tk 1 crore (Tk 10 million) is spent per kilometre every year. But this has resulted in the speed of commute being halved. So this development has doubled costs and halved speed. This development is harming the people, increasing their sufferings. Only the people in the sphere of power are benefitting.
Ignoring public requirements and the lack of good governance had rendered development ineffective. We see such development not just in Chittagong or Dhaka, but all over the country. It simply benefits the individuals and groups in power.