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Bangladesh Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia has said her government would soon formulate a comprehensive plan to keep Dhaka free from floods and waterlogging. The announcement was made in response to a demand by the people living in the Dhaka-Narayanganj-Dam embankment areas. The move attempts to create the eastern bypass-cum-embankment complete with culverts, bridges and sluice gates to prevent waterlogging. The Asian Development Bank has shown interest in funding the project. The government has diverted about 10 per cent of the allocations made for the current annual development programme for flood rehabilitation through agricultural rehabilitation, reconstruction of damaged homes, educational institutions, roads, embankments, bridges and culverts. Bilateral donors and multilateral agencies have also committed some funds for post-flood rehabilitation. Other options high on the agenda are strengthening of flood forecasting and efficient dissemination of warning messages to the people of flood-prone areas. Basin-wide flood management is also being emphasised (see Down To Earth, September 15, 2004).
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