The gap between words and deeds

The gap between words and deeds

Some people in authority are prone to using words, not deeds, to show themselves as achievers. The ground reality is that their ploy only works sometimes. The target audience these days can differentiate between substantial and hollow parts of statements of people who matter.

Some weeks back, the incumbent mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), Atiqul Islam, had all the praise for 'Sobar Dhaka', an app introduced by the corporation on January 10, 2021, to help the residents lodge complaints and get an immediate solution. The mayor also mentioned the digitization of some other activities of the DNCC.

Allegations have it that complaints posted on the 'Sobar Dhaka' app of the DNCC, most times, are shown as 'solved', actually doing nothing to address those.

For instance, a resident on February 18, 2022, posted a complaint about dumping various goods on pavements along the Kalshi Road in Pallabi by shopkeepers, making those unusable for pedestrians. Days passed since he had posted the complaint on the app. Much to his surprise, after some weeks, the complainant saw a message on the 'solution counter' of the app claiming that the problem had been 'solved'. The fact remains that the DNCC people did nothing to remove the goods from the pavements in question. Pedestrians are still unable to use those pavements.  

The same resident posted another issue---removing silts from a canal to help solve the water-logging problem---on December 10, 2021. A few months after the posting of the complaint, an excavator came and cleaned a small part of the canal. With most parts of the canal remaining silted, a message-'solved'--- popped up on the 'Sobar Dhaka' app.

The canal is among the water bodies the two city corporations had taken over from the Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) to restore their channels. A few years have passed, but more tangible needs to be done to remove unauthorized structures built on the canal and widen it. The DNCC mayor has, on many occasions, promised to solve the problem of water-logging in vast areas of Mirpur-Pallabi. The residents, however, have yet to witness any worthwhile move by the DNCC to fulfil the mayor's pledge.

The DNCC, in cooperation with the Bangladesh Army, has built the Kalshi Flyover at a considerable cost to ease traffic movement. But in the event of heavy rains, it is most likely that a large part of the Kalshi Road would go under the knee- to waist-deep water, causing a long tailback on the flyover. Thus, it is time for the DNCC to do whatever is necessary to ensure fast draining out of rain waters.

The two city corporations used to blame the DWASA for inactions regarding restoring the city canals. Their allegations were not untrue. Since the city corporations have taken over the responsibility of restoring the canals when those were in bad shapes, residents want to see a sense of urgency on the latter's part.

The rainy season is not far away. Last year, rainfall was far less than usual. So, the extent of water-logging was mild. People, however, are apprehensive of the upcoming monsoon. Dhaka residents expect city corporations to rise up to their promises in order to help lessen their problems. Deeds, not words, in the right direction would help fulfil that expectation.


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