Unplanned urbanisation causes unequal development
Abu Hayat Mahmud

Dhaka alone has more than 40% of the total urban population while Chittagong, Khulna and Rajshahi together have about 55%

  • Professor Nazrul Islam addressing a seminar on urbanisation in the city Sunday 
    Photo- Nashirul Islam

An unplanned urbanisation across the country leads to discrimination between the capital Dhaka and other metropolitan cities and district towns, said urban planners at a dialogue in the capital Sunday.

They viewed that the capital is reeling under the heavy pressure of populace due to centrallisaiton of all major developments.

The discussants observed Dhaka itself has the highest rate of urbanisation which is 90% compared to Faridpur, Tangail, Patuakhali and Sylhet having less than 15% urbanisation rate.

Due to enormous rate of migration to the capital, it is becoming totally unfit for living while many suburban cities and towns are being deprived of planned urbanistion.

Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh arranged the two-day programme titled “Urban Dialogue” in an effort to promote knowledge sharing among urban planners.

President of Asiatic Society of Bangladesh Prof Nazrul Islam, also chairman of Centre for Urban Studies (CUS), said metropolitan cities like Chittagong and Khulna and the districts within had a higher level of urbanisation.

The urban planner displayed a power point to outline the urbanisation scenarios.

He said urban population was characterised by their heavy concentration in a few cities.

Dhaka alone has more than 40% of the total urban population while Chittagong, Khulna and Rajshahi together have about 55%.

“In the year of 2011, the average level of world urbanisation was 52.1% and in our country it was 28.4%,” Prof Nazrul said.

The researcher attributed the rapid growth of urban population to a number of factors like territorial extension of existing urban areas and rural to urban migration.

He said migration was the most dominant component of urban population growth that had taken place over the last four decades.

Md Nurullah, superintending engineer of LGED, shared insight into the government plans for addressing urban issues.

In his power point display, he held out the government strategy implying formulation of a National Urbanisation Policy, National Human Settlements Strategy including decentralisation of opportunities, deconcentration of population, integration of villages with union or upazila level towns and focus on good governance.

Nurullah also revealed the government’s two new plans for urbanisation.

Of the two, one is the Perspective Plan (2010-21) for development of urban environmental management and urban transportation while the other is “Sixth Five-Year Plan (2011-15) which focuses on balanced urban growth, poverty reduction, urban land management including environmental management and developing sustainable urban transportation.

Prof Salma Shafi of Centre for Urban Studies, Ashek Rahman from Urban Programme Manager of UNDP, representatives from Habitat for Humanity, AusAID, DFID, BRAC University, Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre, World Vision, ICDDRB and Centre for Women & Child Studies spoke at the programme.

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