Local government ministry on Thursday decided in principle to hand over the responsibility of Dhaka's canals to north and south city corporations.
To this effect, it formed a 14-member technical committee which will submit a report within 30 days.
The decision was made at a consultation at the ministry on the handover of responsibility of the drainage system to the city corporations from Dhaka WASA.
LGRD and cooperatives minister Tazul Islam briefed the media on the latest development after the meeting.
Dhaka south mayor barrister Fazle Noor Taposh and Dhaka north mayor Atiqul Islam were present at the event along with DWASA managing director Taqsem A Khan.
Minister Mr Islam said the canals were earlier under the jurisdiction of the city corporation and it is in the law also.
Later, the responsibility was handed over to DWASA as per a presidential order. But both the mayors are interested in taking charge of the canals, he cited.
"A technical committee has been formed today (Thursday) to implement the handover process. There are eight members from DNCC and DSCC, four from each city corporation and four from DWASA."
"Local government division additional secretary Mohammed Ibrahim has been made convener and additional secretary Sayed Ur Rahman member secretary of the committee," added Mr Islam.
The team will submit a report on how the corporations will work and how DWASA will hand over the charge. The legal process will be completed accordingly.
The minister said DWASA used to manage the drainage system, clean and repair them. Now the corporations have the capacity, equipment and manpower to drain out water.
In reply to a query on road digging, he said the ministry had a meeting with the World Bank along with the mayors in this regard.
Terming the day historic, Mayor Mr Islam said the decision will help the citizens get rid of the waterlogging problem.
Mayor Mr Taposh said the decision is very significant enough to solve the problems accumulated for 30 years.
People suffered a lot for all these years and they would reap the benefits soon, he observed.
Taksim Khan said the decision to hand over the charge of the drainage system to DWASA was made in 1988.
DWASA frequently sought to hand over the charge to the city corporation since 2009-10 till 2012, he added.
About the impact of the decision and solution to the drainage problem, Bangladesh Institute of Planners president Prof Akter Mahmud said the entire drainage channel from saucer drain to surface drain to natural canals should be free from obstacles.
If the charge of the process is handed to one single authority, it will improve certainly as they will be held responsible as a single authority, he told the FE.
Moreover, the responsibility of solid waste management lies with the corporations. They will try to manage it better for their own sake, improving the overall waste management system, he added.