There shouldn’t be any eviction drive against homeless people and slum dwellers before rehabilitation efforts, speakers at a national dialogue have suggested.
The dialogue titled “Ameliorating urban poverty and scrutinizing policies including urban development policies for eradicating disparity and poverty” was held in capital’s CIRDAP auditorium in the city on Wednesday.
All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) under the Bangladesh Jatiyo Sangsad, in association with an international non-government organisation Concern Worldwide, organised the dialogue.
Lawmaker Israfil Alam, chairperson of APPG has presided over the dialogue and Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperative Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain attended as the chief guest.
APPG Secretary General Shishir Sheel moderated the programme and Concern Worldwide Bangladesh Country Director, AKM Musa was addressed as the inaugural speaker.
Twelve members of the parliament namely as Bangladesh Jatiyo Sangsad of the ruling party, prominent urban planners, architects and high officials from several private and government organisations attended the dialogue.
Professor AKM Abul Kalam of Urban and Regional Planning at Jahangirnagar University also president of Bangladesh Institute of Planners presented the keynote speech.
Interests of both rich and poor should be considered before building any infrastructure in the urban area to control the rising urban poverty, he said.
He, however, pointed out that not everyone from poor community comes to the larger cities need to be provided with housing facilities as many of them are seasonal immigrants.
Citing the example of New York, he urged the policymakers to follow the long-term urban planning of world’s largest and developed cities.
All the speakers of the dialogue, including LGRD Minister, supported Dr Kalam’s position on the eviction policy.
The minister said: “There should be no difference between the development process of urban and rural areas across the country, and the government in its Vision 2021 and Vision 2041 shares the same goal.
“We have been working in 11 cities and 327 municipalities across the country since our government wants to develop the livelihoods of all,” he added.