Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Monday, June 25, 2018 02:37:19 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Chaotic urbanization thrives in the presence of poor local governance

Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

DURING a conference on urban development hosted by the World Bank last week, many of our municipality mayors of the country shared their experiences and grievances with experts and mayors from other countries. 

The fact that our municipality mayors have innumerable grievances is well known. Their main complaint is that the government doesn't allocate sufficient funds to the municipalities. The government, in response, insists they have to finance their projects themselves by raising taxes from the residents and businesses. However, the reality is that there are not many areas where mayors are authorised to impose a tax, and in areas where they are, often the choice is between doing nothing and making unpopular choices - and the outcome is obvious. Thus, once again the sorry state of our almost powerless local government system was exposed at the conference. 

It is not only a clichéd tale of insufficient funds but also the power sharing formula which is evidently missing. The point, however, if the local government is sensible about using the tax money and can make a strong case for what can be achieved with the money, the public will definitely come forward. The fact is, our mayors and city corporations scattered around the country badly need funds and ruling authority, since they have to serve the public. In recent times, they are more interested in short-term measures rather than long-term projects because, firstly, they lack the necessary technical knowhow - Unable to determine what is best for the entire town or city and prepare a concrete plan and translate that plan into reality - they basically seek money from aid agencies and the government for a variety of projects. Secondly, there is no guarantee that the next mayor would follow the path set by them in implementing a master plan. Additionally, it is shocking that despite being elected officials, the mayors are so powerless that a mid-level technocrat at the LGRD ministry can even fire them on the grounds of vague reasons.

Against the backdrop of weak local governance, shortage of development funds, symbolic power there are the meddling of the MPs in local affairs. This has been a huge problem for the last couple of decades. For most of our politicians power means, the ability to control the police force for their own political interests, and collect funds for development and infrastructural projects. Decentralising power by empowering local governments has become the need of the hour. 

Dhaka is perhaps the best example of what happens when people with vested interests in terms of dictating city planning. In the absence of an effective power sharing formula, coordination among the related institutions, our cities have plunged into chaos. As a result, problems such as traffic congestion and water logging persist. Powerful individuals, organisations and companies have occupied a number of canals of the city, making it impossible for water to flow when it rains. This continues to thrive besides the powerful non-state actors who are actively participating in ruining our cities.

The bottom-line is the purpose of such conferences and meetings become pointless if the government doesn't draw lesson from them. If the government is serious about managing our cities and towns better it should immediately start bestowing more power and funds to local governments. 

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Sports »

Members of England's rugby league team celebrate a win over New Zealand by raising the Rugby League Football International Challenge Cup on Saturday in Denver. England won 36-18.

International »

First Russia air strikes hit southern Syria as govt assault looms

AFP, Beirut : Russia bombed rebel-held parts of southern Syria late Saturday for the first time since brokering a ceasefire there nearly a year ago, a monitor group said, as allied regime troops prepare a ground assault.Southern Syria is a strategic prize for local and global players involved in the country's ...

International »

Zimbabwe's President narrowly escapes assassination bid

The Washington Post :Zimbabwe's election campaign season took a worrying turn Saturday afternoon when a crude bombing at a speech delivered by President Emmerson Mnangagwa appeared to be an attempt on his life.Mnangagwa had just finished giving a speech in a stadium in Zimbabwe's second-largest city, Bulawayo, when the blast ...

City »

Newly -appointed Nepalese Ambassador Dr Chop Lal Bhusal called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office yesterday.

Editorial »

Fatal accidents are increasing, make roads and highways safe for passengers

TERMING it as the deadliest day, the news media reported that at least 55 people were killed in separate road accidents in different districts across the country on Saturday. Bangladesh Jatri Kallyan Samity said it was the highest number of casualties in a single day in recent times. An 11-member ...

Entertainment »

Richi returns to country tomorrow

Entertainment Report :In last January, popular TV actress Richi Solaiman came to Bangladesh to pass times with her mother and brother by own way. After five months, she is returning to her motherland tomorrow. This time she is coming for several reasons including to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha with her mother, to ...

Editorial »

American people rose against inhumanity of Trump`s immigration policy : Trump remains un-American

US President Donald Trump took an U-turn and changed his own policy amid strong protest by American people.  There are huge criticism and outcry in America over the way undocumented parents and children have been kept forcibly apart. He said he changed his mind by seeing images of children who ...

International »

UN Chief appeals for end to fighting in south Syria

AFP, United Nations :UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for an immediate end to a military escalation in southwest Syria and a return to ceasefire arrangements agreed by Russia, the United States and Jordan.US Ambassador Nikki Haley separately urged Russia to pressure its Syrian ally to uphold the truce. ...

Football »

Nigeria`s John Obi Mikel (left) and Iceland`s Gylfi Sigurdsson compete for the ball during the group D match between Nigeria and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd, Russia on Friday.

Football »

Portugal's Ruben Dias talks to journalists during a news conference prior the training session of Portugal at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Kratovo, outskirts Moscow, Russia on Saturday.

City »

Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina inaugurating the newly constructed building of the party's central office by releasing balloons in the city's Bangabandhu Avenue on Saturday.

Entertainment »

Sunny Leone hospitalised

Bollywood star and reality show host Sunny Leone was hospitalised on Thursday. Leone was taken to Brijesh Hospital Kashipur in the Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand on Thursday after she complained of stomach ache. However, her state was declared satisfactory on Friday morning.The doctor attending her has given the ...

Editorial »

Trump disregards the American core human right values : He is against America`s greatness

The United States withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, condemning the "hypocrisy" of its members and its alleged "unrelenting bias" against Israel vividly face-off US stance in favour of rights violation. National and international news outlets reported that the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, ...

Entertainment »

Kriti Sanon shares glimpses from her IIFA performance

Actress Kriti Sanon took to social media to share glimpses from her upcoming electrifying performance at the IIFA awards. Kriti Sanon who landed in Bangkok on Thursday morning for IIFA wasted no time as she took to rehearsals for her much-awaited performance. Sharing insights into her performances, Kriti Sanon posted ...

Entertainment »

A fan paints a wall with Nidhhi Agerwal’s graffiti art

An ardent fan of Nidhhi Agerwal took to Twitter to share a Graffiti art of the actress painted on a wall. The fan artist painted a wall with the actress’ image giving showcasing his love for Nidhhi. The artist spent a huge amount of time getting every detail right to ...

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news