• Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

No separate residential, commercial zones in Dhaka

  • Published at 04:41 am March 5th, 2019
The file photo shows an area of Dhaka city Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Experts fear mixed-use neighbourhoods will increase incidents like the Chawkbazar and Nimotoli fires

Rajdhani Unnyan Katripakkha (Rajuk), Dhaka's development authority, has consistently failed to keep commercial and residential areas separate, despite trying for many years. 

However, Rajuk has discarded that plan, saying that it will no longer designate areas as commercial or residential; with the convenience of the citizens in mind.

There will be specific guidelines regarding the matter. Dhaka's development authority will also designate areas for shopping malls and industry. 

Rajuk’s Detail Area Plan (DAP) Director Ashraful Islam said these decisions will be incorporated in the plan. 

However, most city planners are against Rajuk’s decision to mix residential and commercial areas.

The city planners think it must be assessed whether the move will give rise to another Nimtoli or Chawkbazar tragedy.

Rajuk sources say that despite several efforts it has become impossible to stop landlords from putting their buildings to commercial use. 

Shops have sprung up in residential buildings to meet the needs of the residents.

They said Rajuk has to look after the needs of the citizens as well, but strict safety instructions will be provided for the use of residential buildings for commercial purposes; like selling products that are necessary for day-to-day use of the residents.

A Rajuk official said due to popular demand, shops have sprung up in almost 90% of buildings. 

The official added that steps cannot be taken against these establishments as they invest large sums of money and evicting them will lead to protest both from the owners and residents of the area.

If commercial areas are separated out, people will have to travel a couple of kilometres for daily needs, which according to them will lead to more traffic and will also be inconvenient for the citizens.

DAP Director Ashraful Islam said: “Our priority is to work according to the needs of the public. So, we will not designate any area as residential or commercial.” 

Stating that many depend on these businesses, he said these organizations are creating jobs for thousands of people who are contributing to the economy.

“No area will be purely residential. But, we will provide guidelines for shopping malls,” he said adding that only industrial areas will be separated out.

The urban planners, however, described Rajuk’s move as an effort to cover up its failures.

“There are mixed-use neighbourhoods in the world, but the kinds of shops are specified,” Institute of Planners General Secretary Dr Adil Mahmud said.

He said: “We need to see whether we are taking a self-destructive decision in the name of mixed use.”

Adil said in a country like Bangladesh—where governance is weak and the law is not followed—encouraging mixed-use neighbourhoods might have disastrous consequences.

“It is not important how effective the weapon is, what is important is who is using it,” he said.

According to him, the Chawkbazar and Nimotoli fires are fatal examples of mixed-use neighbourhoods in Bangladesh.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail