Encroachment of Canals of Dhaka City, Bangladesh: An Investigative Approach

Open access


Dhaka City has been suffering from many environmental problems including flooding, water logging and other related problems. Urbanization, which is occurring very fast and with larger magnitude in Dhaka, is the intrinsic reason behind these problems. High rate of urbanization causes extensive urban area expansion and as a result canals, wetland and other water bodies are quickly vanishing from the landscape. This study shows the present physical condition of the canals; identifies the processes of canal encroachment; represents the consequences of canal encroachment. 13 canals of 50 were surveyed; local people were surveyed to identify the impact and processes of encroachment. According to this study, canals of Dhaka city are under serious threat of extinction and require immediate recovery actions. Canals are being encroached in various styles and this study identifies five: unauthorized land filling, illegal construction over canal, expansion of slum, solid waste dumping, taking advantage of lack of awareness of local people as well as government agencies. However, this study also discusses the grave consequences of canal encroachment: increasing flood vulnerability, wane of ground water recharge area and ground water level, collapse of natural drainage system, loss of local ecology and biodiversity.

Ahmed SU (1986) Dacca: A Study in Urban History and Development. The Riverdale Company, Glenn Dale.

Alam M and Rabbani MG (2007) Vulnerabilities and responses to climate change for Dhaka. Environment and Urbanization. 19: 81–97.

BBS (Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics) (2003) Population Census 2001, National Report (Provisional). Ministry of Planning, Government of Bangladesh. Dhaka.

BBS (1977) Bangladesh National Population Census Report 1974. Ministry of Planning, Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka.

BBS (1984) Bangladesh Population Census 1981: Analytical Findings and National Tables. Ministry of Planning. Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka.

BBS (1991) Preliminary Report on Population Census 1991. Ministry of Planning, Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka.

BBS (1997) Bangladesh Population Census 1991, Urban Area Report. Ministry of Planning, Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka.

Brookfield HC et al. (1988) The new great age of clearance and beyond: What sustainable development is possible? University of California Press, Berkeley.

Burkart K et al. (2008) Megacity Dhaka: urban environment, informal settlements and public health. Geographische Rundschau. 4 (1): 5–10.

Center for Urban Studies (CUS) (2006) Slums of Urban Bangladesh: Mapping and Census, 2005. University of Dhaka. Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Chowdhury JU et. al. (2001b) Impact of land use change upon storm water drainage and wetlands in the eastern part of Dhaka city. Integrated Water Flow Model (IWFM), Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET). Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Chowdhury JU et. al. (2001a) Impact of 1998 flood on Dhaka city and performance of flood control works. Integrated Water Flow Model (IWFM), Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET). Dhaka.

D’oyly C (1824) Antiquities of Dacca. J. J. Landseer and Company, London.

Dani AH (1962) Dacca: A Record of Its Changing Fortunes. Ahmed Hasan Dania & Mrs. S. S. Dani. Dhaka.

Dewan AM and Nishigaki KTM (2006) Flood hazard delineation in greater Dhaka, Bangladesh using an Integrated GIS and remote sensing approach. Geocarto International. 21: 33–38.

Dewan AM & Yamaguchi Y (2008) Using remote sensing and GIS detect and monitor land use and land cover change in Dhaka Metropolitan of Bangladesh during 1960-2005. Springer Science B.V.

Flood Action Plan (FAP) 8A (1991) Master Plan Study for Greater Dhaka Protection Projec. Japan International Cooperation Agency. Dhaka.

Islam MN (2009) Rainfall and temperature scenario for Bangladesh. The Open Atmospheric Science Journal. 3: 93–103.

Islam MS et. al. (2010) Changes in Wetlands in Dhaka City: Trends and Physico-environmental Consequences. J. Life Earth Sci. 5: 37-42.

Islam N (1996) Dhaka: from city to mega city. University of Dhaka. Dhaka, Bangladesh.

JICA (1991) Master plan for greater Dhaka protection project (Study in Dhaka metropolitan area). Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Dhaka.

JICA (1992) Master Plan for Greater Dhaka Protection Project, Flood Action Plan, FAP 8A, Main Report and Supporting Reports I and II. Flood Plan Coordination Agency (presently WARPO). Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Kamal ASMM and Midorikawa S (2004) GIS-based geomorphological mapping using remote sensing data and supplementary geoinformation: A case study of the Dhaka city area, Bangladesh. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. 6: 111–125.

Khuda ZRMM (2001) Environmental Degradation Challenges of the 21st Century. Environmental Survey and Research Unit. Dhaka. Bangladesh.

Mahmud MS et. al. (2011) Remote Sensing & GIS Based Spatio-Temporal Change Analysis of Wetland in Dhaka City, Bangladesh. Journal of Water Resource and Protection. 3 (Nov. 2011) 781- 787 doi:10.4236/jwarp.2011.311088.

Mark, O. et. al. (2001) A mouse GIS study of the drainage in Dhaka city. Surface Water Modeling Center (SWMC). Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Miah MM and Bazlee BL (1968) Some aspects of geomorphology of the Madhupur Tract. Oriental Geographers. 12: 39-48.

Mitsch WJ, Mitsch RH and Turner RE (1994) Wetlands of the Old and New Worlds: Ecology and Management, In Global Wetlands: Old World and New. Elsevier Science B. V. Amsterdam, Netherland.

Nakashima S. and Khan MH (1994) A Basic Guide to Understanding the Environmental Impacts of Rural Roads on the Wetlands of Bangladesh. Care International. Bangladesh.

Reza, A. N. M. G. and Alam, M. S. 2002. Wetland transformation in the western part of Dhaka city (1963–2000). Bhugal Patrika (Journal of Geography). 21, 23–40.

Siddiqui, K. et al. 2000. Overcoming the Governance Crisis in Dhaka City. University Press Limited, Dhaka.

Sire LK and Balamurugan G (1991) Urbanization and urban water problems in Southeast Asia a case of unsustainable development. Journal of Environmental Management. 32: 195–209.

Sultana MS, Islam GMT and Islam Z (2009) Pre- and Post urban Wetland Area in Dhaka City, Bangladesh: A Remote Sensing and GIS Analysis. Journal of Water Resource and Protection. 1 (June 2009) 414- 421. doi:10.4236/jwarp.2009.16050.

Taleb MA (2012) Comparative Study of Urban Area Extension and flood Risk in Dhaka City of Bangladesh. Global Journal of Human Social Science Geography & Environmental Geosciences. 12 (11).

Taylor J (1840) Sketch of the Topography and Statistics of Dacca. Military Orphan Press, Calcutta.

UN-HABITAT. 2008. State of the World’s Cities 2008/9- Harmonious Cities. UN-HABITAT.

United Nations (2013) World Urbanization Prospect: The 2012 Revision. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division.

WASA (1991) Dhaka Regional Groundwater and Subsidence Model. Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA). Dhaka, Bangladesh.


The Journal of Jan Evangelista Purkyne University in Ústí nad Labem

Journal Information


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 324 324 34
PDF Downloads 151 151 17