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ED: Decentralization is the way to equitable development

  • Published at 12:05 pm June 14th, 2021
power grid
Representational image Bigstock

Rules and regulations are constantly flouted, and experts are routinely ignored

The news that Dhaka city alone consumes nearly half (46%) of all the electricity Bangladesh produces is not only a difficult and dangerous situation as State Minister for Power and Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid rightfully stated, but also a sorrowful one.

The unfortunate reality is that despite Bangladesh’s impressive economic trajectory and growth numbers for well over a decade now, the fact of the matter is that this development has not been enjoyed proportionally across the entirety of the country. This latest statistic is yet another reminder of the disproportionate way that Bangladesh is growing and developing at, and the overdependence on Dhaka as the hub of most economic activity.

This is not in line with the vision of an equitable nation, and it is an issue that has demanded addressing for some time now, but continues to be overlooked.

We have editorialized before on the need to decentralize Dhaka, and to ensure that other parts of the country are also established as prominent centres for economic activity, so as to reduce the immense pressure on the capital city, and reduce the myriad issues that arise from an overtly centralized system.

Bangladesh has a responsibility towards not only graduating to a middle-income nation, but also fulfilling the SDGs and eventually becoming a developed country. As such, if it wants to be successful, and indeed “leave no one behind” as the SDGs demand, then it must develop into an equitable nation, and reduce its overreliance on the capital city.