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Expectations to Dhaka City Mayors part-2

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Md. Atikur Rahman :
From now, garments, textiles and factories must be established outside the Dhaka city. This will reduce the pressure of the Dhaka city residents. Look at China, the Garment sector has been established in the far border and remote areas. This arrangement can also be taken in Bangladesh. The Garments sector should be transferred from the district level to the upazila level. Not only that, there are still many heavy industries in Dhaka city. They can be easily shifted at a lower cost to get a production at reduced cost.
Although the High Court gave instructions to transfer the leather industries from Hazaribagh, it did not work. Still there are more than 250 tanneries in Hazaribagh. The liquid poisonous waste of the tannery can be found in the Hazaribagh canal, local water bodies and the Buriganga River. Thus Buriganga water is regularly polluted.
Footpath means the way to walk. However, its meaning in our capital is different. According to the latest figures of two city corporations, 108.60 kilometers of footpaths out of 163 kilometer are occupied by the hawkers. In addition, 572.42 kilometer of the 2,289.69 kilometer roads in the city are under the control of the transport leaders and workers organizations. The extortion of the millions of taka per month from the hawkers is going on. Due to the scattered parking, makeshift restaurants and shops, there is no environment for walking on the footpath.
If footpaths were properly planned and managed, it would have been possible to reduce traffic congestion. For this, the re-settlement of hawkers is needed by the city corporations. Real hawkers will have to be accommodated in different city markets. Looking at the mega cities of the world, there are specific time and place for the hawkers. The time has come for the policymakers to think about whether such arrangements can be made in our country.
On the other hand, the biggest problem in Bangladesh is that there is no specific place for political party's program. As a result, political parties observe various programs in front of different offices resulting in tremendous traffic congestion in the streets. Therefore, it is very important to have a certain place in Dhaka to hold political programs where every political party will keep their program steadfast. It may be a place or other convenient place like Tongi Biswa Ijtema.
Waterlogging in the rainy season is one of the major problems in the city. For this, people suffer unbearably. Due to the closure of various natural canals and lakes filled up by soil and waste, water logging has become a common scenario. Although it's strictly prohibited to fill the city's water rush, several private houses have been built filling the canals, ponds and lakes. The ponds have been filled up permanently in some places.
The number of private universities within the Dhaka city stands at 53. These educational institutions are located at important residential and commercial areas resulting in public sufferings. But if these non-government institutions are completely taken out of Dhaka, only the benefits will be met. The cost of education will less and students' comfort will increase. A big problem in Dhaka is the excess population. Everything is now in the capital city. It is necessary to carry out a master plan to upazilas, district towns and divisional towns to be self-reliant and stop the flow to capital.
Buriganga is called life of Dhaka. But in the occupation-pollution, its condition is miserable. Especially tannery waste has severely contaminated the water of the river. The amount of oxygen in the water has decreased. For which, it becomes tough for the aquatic animals to survive. In order to save the Buriganga River, necessary measures should be taken to stop the waste-flow of the tannery industries to the river.
Our beloved Dhaka city did not grow in one day. Due to unplanned growing, citizens' life has become uncomfortable now. There is no end to dwellers' suffering. Valuable hours are lost in the traffic jam. City planners and experts also say that more than half of the capital's people are facing the loss due to unplanned urbanization. And Dhaka city is being added to the world's unlivable city list.
It is possible to turn Dhaka into a tolerable and habitable planned city. However, in order to transform Dhaka city into a planned city, it will need to give importance to some urgent issues first. On them, RAJUK will have to be strengthened. All the laws of RAJUK must be implemented without any hesitation. One thing must be remembered that if we want the city habitable and peaceful, there needs political will. For this reason, RAJUK will have to come out of the vested quarter's grip. In order to make our capital city livable like world ranking ten other cities, there must be collective initiative along with earnest efforts of the people from all walks of life.There is no alternative to a planned urbanization to build a Golden Bengal. The government and Dhaka City Mayor should take effective steps to transform Dhaka into a habitable city. We know that the city corporations are responsible to protect the city people from all hazards.
If everyone comes to protect the environment then it would possible to implement Green Dhaka Project, a very useful and timely scheme. It is not difficult to transform Dhaka into a green city. We can hope for that.
(Md. Atikur Rahman, Columnist & Head PRO at BUFT, atik@buft.edu.bd)

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