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Beyond the big city

  • Published at 05:16 pm January 25th, 2020
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Photo: MEHEDI HASAN

Putting too much pressure on the capital only stifles the economy

One of the most persistent impediments to Bangladesh’s overall development is its centralized nature.

For far too long, the majority of development that the nation has undergone has been focused squarely on the capital, Dhaka, which has led the city to become one of the most densely populated metropolises in the world.

As a newspaper, we have always made the case for why decentralizing the country is the only natural way forward if the government intends to continue the momentum with which our economy has been growing.

Now, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s recent statement regarding her government’s tireless work to that end, perhaps there is reason to believe that, moving forward, we will finally see a Bangladesh that is well and truly developed from top to bottom.

Rural development has been one area that governments, both past and present, have faltered at, to say the least. The absolutely haphazard way that development has taken place, especially at the upazila level, set the stage for our current overtly-centralized state.

Due to a lack of adequate housing, hospitals, shopping spaces, educational institutes, farmland, and industries in and around our rural areas, people invariably seek out such services and spaces in the capital -- which leads to an increasing influx of people into the capital, contributing to its density.

Needless to say, any master plan that the government is working on to develop our rural areas needs to take the proper planning of our upazilas into consideration.

Putting too much pressure on the capital only stifles the economy, compounded by the fact that the city’s infrastructure itself is still quite in-development.

A new decade brings newer possibilities, and while we now know that bringing the rest of the country up to speed is indeed in the government’s agenda, it is now time to put such promises into action.

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