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ED: Our capital city needs vision

  • Published at 01:23 am January 10th, 2021
Dhaka city
File photo: Bird's eye view of Dhaka city Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

A better strategy must be devised, by way of which these interconnected problems can be addressed collectively

It is not uncommon to see Dhaka at the receiving end of innumerable complaints from its residents, and for good reason. Be it air pollution, traffic congestion, or water-logging caused by canal and river grabbing, the capital has it all.

And so, precisely because there is no one single reason behind Dhaka becoming a barely liveable city, there is no single solution that can be pursued. Instead, a better strategy must be devised, by way of which these interconnected problems can be addressed collectively.

Speaking in that same vein, Local Government, Rural Development, and Cooperatives (LGRD) Minister Md Tajul Islam, in a recent meeting with the Urban Development Journalists Forum Bangladesh (UDJFB), stated that a collective effort was necessary to make the city liveable. While the progress and future plans -- such as canal recovery and development -- that the minister also spoke of are commendable, it is unlikely that these alone will be enough. Efforts must be ramped up even further.

For starters, greater coordination between the city councils and other agencies must be achieved so that the connections between all of these issues can be investigated and addressed. The help of the private sector might also be employed to target particular focus areas.

Without a proper, well-designed plan to address the liveability issues of not only Dhaka, but also our other major cities -- Chittagong, Gazipur, and Narayanganj, for example -- which face many of the same problems, we will be doomed to repeat the same mistakes.