We should ensure a collective effort to make Dhaka city livable, says LGRD minister Md Tajul Islam
The Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (LGRD) is the key authority in keeping and making a city or town livable. However, it has failed to transform Dhaka into a livable city and the same fate awaits the country’s other cities, such as Chittagong, Gazipur and Narayanganj.
On Thursday LGRD Minister Md Tajul Islam came face to face with the Urban Development Journalists Forum Bangladesh (UDJFB) and was asked about the future of the country’s cities, especially Dhaka’s.
Replying to the queries, the minister said that controlling population density was the main challenge in keeping a city in livable conditions.
“For example, Purbachal is being developed for one million people. But if there had been five million people, the plan would not have functioned.
“Due to the same issue, Dhaka is facing many challenges in surviving as a city,” the minister added.
It is to be noted that turning Dhaka into a livable city has been one of the top priorities of the Awami League government, which has been in office since 2009.
The city corporations, Wasa and LGED are the main public institutions entrusted with this task and Tajul Islam here is the prime decision-maker. The LGRD minister is also the chief of the DAP cabinet committee and the committee on the master plan for the country’s rivers.
Tajul Islam, while speaking to the members of the UDJFB, said: “I have successfully completed two years in the roles that I had been assigned to perform and some major changes are visible now. I take decisions promptly so that nothing remains pending on my desk.”
“DAP will facilitate all the issues so that residential areas become more livable and comfortable for city dwellers. As our roads are narrow and can’t handle the dense population, we thought of incorporating primary schools, groceries, pharmacies, home office facilities and playgrounds in the residential areas,” he added.
“All the canals are being recovered, cleaned by the two Dhaka city corporations to solve the waterlogging issue of Dhaka. A plan is also being prepared to develop the recovered canals,” the minister furthered.
“The World Bank (WB) has promised to fund the canal development project.
“As far as I know, the city roads are being cleaned every day, early in the morning, and the dengue situation is also under control with continued efforts,” he said, adding, “Like developing the cities, we are planning to ensure quality development in the rural areas of the country as well.”
“A gazette on the rural structural plan will be circulated immediately. The rural road network will be constructed sustainably. Although this will increase costs, the quality will be better,” he added.
While replying to a query, he said: “We should ensure a collective effort toward making Dhaka city livable.”