In an exclusive interview with Dhaka Tribune's Nawaz Farhin Antara, Tabith Awal, the BNP's mayoral candidate in the upcoming Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) polls believes that a dynamic change is essential to turn Dhaka into a developed city to serve its people the best
Transforming Dhaka city into a liveable and pollution free city will be the key priority for Tabith Awal, the BNP's mayoral candidate in the upcoming Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) polls.
In an exclusive interview with Dhaka Tribune's Nawaz Farhin Antara, Tabith believes that a dynamic change is essential to turn Dhaka into a developed city to serve its people the best.
How do you feel at being nominated as one of the youngest mayoral candidates?
Many possibilities lie with the young generation. For me, it is the right time to check in. It does not matter if you are young or old, what matters is doing the right work at the right time for the development of Dhaka city. As a representative of the young generation, I have a dynamic and open perspective towards responsibilities and I have everything that matters about being elected mayor.
What will be your main challenges if you are elected to office?
Fighting against corruption in the city corporation office will be my first challenge. Ensuring strong coordination among all the stakeholders for Dhaka's development is the second obstacle that I have to overcome.
If elected, do you think that you will be able to work properly since you represent the BNP?
As a candidate of the opposition, if I get elected, of course with the mandate of general people, which the previous Dhaka mayors lacked, it will help me to do better.
When you are a part of the ruling party, you have to maintain its rules and protocol while in office. But with me there is no chance of that happening. I consider this to be one of my strengths.
What are the things that you will prioritize if you are elected DNCC mayor?
I guess you know that Dhaka is one of the least liveable cities in the world. If elected, the first thing that I will do is start working to turn Dhaka into a liveable city. And in order to do so, I have priorities which include: a pollution free environment; safe and open footpaths and public spaces; freeing Dhaka from water logging; and proper road management for controlling traffic congestion.
I also want to introduce three separate zoning systems -- commercial, residential and mixed -- in the areas under DNCC's jurisdiction.
For the last three years, my father and I have been collecting data and conducting research in a bid to find solutions for the problems of our Dhaka. There will be detailed descriptions of all my plans in my election manifesto.
Traffic congestion and unauthorised occupation of footpaths are major concerns for city dwellers. How do you plan to tackle those?
Enforcement of existing rules, laws as well as High Court directives is a must. Dhaka needs to ensure the safety of its residents and this is something that not a lot us have prioritized. I will work in harmony with everything and everyone so that I can give the city people a Dhaka that is free of all this.
City dwellers in the recent past have greatly suffered due to dengue. How do you plan to combat this?
Garbage is one of the main causes of waterlogging and mosquitoes need water to reproduce. I plan to kill mosquitoes during the larvae stage and this will stop them from spreading. I will continue mosquito drives so that everything remains under control.
Do you have any plans for the city's sewerage system to address the water logging issue?
The solution to the waterlogging issue lies with Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa), which holds the mandate to manage the required sewerage systems for a Dhaka that is free of water logging. DNCC on the other hand has its own role to play too.
I want to make coordinated plans with Wasa for developing the current sewerage system of the city that will ultimately address this issue.
Do you have anything to say to the voters?
Do not step back, now is the time to exercise your voting rights.