• Friday, Aug 19, 2022
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ED: Growing without a plan

  • Published at 01:32 am June 19th, 2021
Dhaka city urban
MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

Total commitment from the government is necessary to stop grabbing

Our capital city is routinely ranked as one of the least liveable cities in the world. While there are many reasons for this unenviable distinction, one of the most glaring problems with our city is the completely unplanned and haphazard way structures are built. These practices have been going on for decades now, and for some reason, the authorities have been largely ineffective in stopping them. It is high time we took a better approach to planning, and threw the book at offenders who broke the rules, no matter how influential they may be. 

It is good to hear the Local Government, Rural Development, and Cooperatives Minister Md Tajul Islam on Thursday say no one has the right to disrupt public life or deprive people of civic services by erecting unplanned structures throughout the city. 

For too long, people with political connections have used muscle, influence, and intimidation to grab land and build structures according to their own desires, with total disregard for the city, or how it affects others citizens who use public amenities, such as roads, parks, or lakes. 

There is, perhaps, a ray of hope in the fact that work is going on to salvage our city’s canals from grabbers, and also to build walkways on both sides of canals. It may yet be possible to green up and beautify these areas, but this is a tall order. Total commitment from the government is necessary to stop grabbing, and a unified vision for the city is needed. Otherwise, it will be business as usual, with unplanned structures mushrooming all over Dhaka, making a mockery of our infrastructure projects, and planning for the future.