'The city administration plays a huge role in providing essential services to citizens'
Dhaka South Mayor Sayeed Khokon told the local government minister that the two city corporations in the capital are in stark contrast to one another, with the south taking a backfoot.
On Sunday afternoon, during a meeting on modern citizen services, the Dhaka South mayor addressed Local Government, Rural Development, and Co-Operativer Minister Tajul Islam and presented his views and demands.
The mayor said: “The city administration plays a huge role in providing essential services to citizens. We have been surmounting challenges for years. We have brought positive changes to the city. Dhaka today is very different from Dhaka four years ago. We are trying our best for the city.
“Dhaka was divided in 2011, and it hurt Dhaka South really, really badly. It might have been due to land surveys or other reasons. But after the divide, Dhaka North gets 60% of the revenues while Dhaka South gets 40%. Things are reversed as the Dhaka South spends 60% and it is the Dhaka North who spends 40%. The sheer divide between the two city corporations has hamstrung our performance.”
The mayor lamented an eight-year-delay over an application to the ministry to develop manpower infrastructure in Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC). He asked the minister to provide the DSCC with more staff since it has only 40% of its full manpower capacity.
Mayor Khokon said: “We do not want to look to the central government for every arbitrary reason. We wanted to assess taxes before the elections. For 30 years, the program has remained closed because of a government gazette. We ask you (local government minister) to withdraw the gazette so that we can be self-sufficient.”
State Minister for Local Government, Rural Development, and Co-Operative Swapan Bhattacharya, Secretary SM Golam Faruq, Dhaka Wasa Managing Director Taskin Khan, DSCC CEO Mostafizur Rahman, architect Mubasshar Hussein, were in attendance among others.
In 2011, the government passed the Local Government (City Corporation) Amendment Bill, which dissolved the Dhaka City Corporation and formed the Dhaka North City Corporation and Dhaka South City Corporation, in order to increase efficiency.