Sylhet City Submerged for the 3rd Time in 15 Days: Residents Suffer from Severe Waterlogging

Continuous rain for three hours last night resulted in severe flooding across several areas of Sylhet city, causing immense distress for the residents. This marks the third instance of significant flooding in just 15 days. Meteorologist Shah Md. Sajib Hossain reported to The Daily Star that 220 millimeters of rainfall were recorded between 9 pm and midnight on Saturday.

Residents have reported extensive waterlogging in at least 50 areas, including Subidbazar, Pathantula, Madina Market, Kalibari, Osmani Medical College Hospital, Bagbari, Zindabazar, Shibganj, Jatarpur, Sobhanighat, Taltala, Uposhohor, Dargah Mohalla, Pir Mohalla, Chowhatta, Majortila, Sheikhghat, and Betar Bazar. Significant waterlogging was also observed on key roads such as Mirabazar Road, Airport Road, and the stretch from Osmani Medical to Barnamala Point, and Pathantula Road.

The intense flooding caused by just a few hours of rain sparked outrage on social media, with many residents sharing photos and videos of the submerged streets and homes. One resident, MA Kaiyum, wrote, “Sylhet city is submerged again. Most areas of the city flooded after just an hour and a half of rain.” Another affected resident, Sajidul Hasan, told The Daily Star, “Flooding in 10 upazilas and the city of Sylhet began from the midnight of May 29 due to hill torrents and heavy rainfall. The city flooded again on June 2, and it’s submerged once more today.”

Although water levels have started to recede in some areas, the Surma River remains full, preventing a quick resolution to the waterlogging problem. Abdul Karim Kim, General Secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) Sylhet, who has been advocating for a planned and environmentally friendly Sylhet for nearly two decades, told The Daily Star, “Sylhet city has been submerged three times in the last 15 days.”

Kim explained that the primary reason for waterlogging is the construction of drains and box culverts without long-term planning, which cannot handle the flow of rainwater. Additionally, the natural streams have been fully covered with guard walls, preventing the soil on both sides from absorbing water. He also attributed the waterlogging to the filling of the Surma River’s bed and the lack of awareness among citizens. Kim emphasized, “If the disposal of plastic and polythene waste into drains and streams is not stopped, this suffering will never end.”

Saddam Mia, a resident of Uposhohor, echoed this sentiment, stating, “Unplanned drainage systems and unplanned development have drowned the people of Sylhet. The past mayor spent billions on development, which has turned into a curse. To free ourselves from this waterlogging, the drains need to be reopened so they can be easily cleaned.”

Sajlu Laskar, Public Relations Officer of Sylhet City Corporation, assured that the cleaning staff of Sylhet City Corporation are working to drain the rainwater. However, the persistent issue of waterlogging calls for more sustainable and long-term solutions to prevent further suffering of Sylhet’s residents.

Green Time Editorial Body