There are massive plans for the area, particularly in six prioritized facets — education, healthcare, roads, waste management, disaster management, and low-income housing
Near the Western fringes of Central Dhaka lies a 630-acre area that had been, for the most part, overlooked by the citizens of the capital. This place had once been full of tanneries and was considered to be one of the“less desirable” areas to settle down in. But now, gone are the tanneries that made the area off-putting.This has paved the way for a thriving area where life can be anything that one hopes for it to be.
For decades, the Rayer Bazar area had been considered the runt of the litter among other nearby powerhouse areas such as Dhanmondi and Mohammadpur — both of which have close proximity to Rayer Bazar. In fact, Rayer Bazar is synonymous with West Dhanmondi by the city, the authorities and the people.This, according to the latest draft of the Detailed Area Plan 2016-2035, considers the nearby Shankar and Hazaribagh area as its part. Yet, the area garnered less focus than most and had been quite underdeveloped until recently. Fortunately, though, the authorities did come around and, as a result, the area has put on notice anyone who is looking for their next home!
The previously neglected area has seen a host of sweeping infrastructural reforms over the last decade — starting with moving the notorious tanneries then present throughout the area. While there are still a few left in the greater Rayer Bazar area, they will not be there much longer as the authorities have grand plans for the area, a lot of which are laid out in the aforementioned Detailed Area Plan (DAP) 2016-2035.
Rayer Bazar has been placed in a prominent role in the latest edition of DAP. It has been chosen as a priority area for the development of community services and there are massive plans for the area, particularly in six prioritized facets—education, healthcare, roads, waste management, disaster management, and low-income housing, respectively. This order of priority and need was decided after having two separate focus group meetings with the local school children and the residents of the area in 2018, as well as surveying the area for scopes of improvement.
According to DAP, the upcoming years will see a number of schools, including primary and high schools, constructed throughout the area. For that, the most appropriate locations have been deduced being in the South-East side (Near Sat Masjid Road) and the Northern portion of the area. There are also only a handful of healthcare facilities in the Rayer Bazar area for its nearly 300,000 residents — which will be rectified by building four or five new hospitals there.
There are also plans to revive the Rayer Bazar Canal and make it navigable by boat. Reviving the canal is one of the primary concerns of the recent DAP as its part of conserving water bodies across the city. Furthermore, the recovery of the canal will be accompanied by the creation of a park-like recreation spot with the goal of improving the quality of life for the residents of Rayer Bazar. All of this has been detailed out in the Rayer Bazar Khal Master Plan.
For years now, the government and the authorities have been planning and working on various aspects of the area to make Rayer Bazar one of the better neighbourhoods of Dhaka city and take it back from the once desolated perception the area had. To that end, the private development sector has been a valuable complimenting component for the overhaul of the area by taking a pro-active approach to private land development.
Private real estate developers such as Theme Engineers Ltd, who are well-known for constructing beautiful and affordable apartments in up and coming areas, have been paving the way for modern housing options in the Rayer Bazar area to flourish. The signs of years of neglect are still present in the area—only about 44% of the buildings in the area are three or more storied. However, the state of the area is rapidly changing with fast-growing ongoing developments.
There are a few reasons why both the private development sector and the government is focusing so much on improving the quality of the Rayer Bazar area. To start off, it is located in a very advantageous position — next to Mohammadpur and Dhanmondi with the Old Town not being very far from the area. Its proximity to Dhanmondi, in particular, is why so many of the newer generation have been contemplating moving to the area.
The name “West Dhanmondi” is enough to understand how close it is to the area. And with Dhanmondi being a major commercial, residential, educational, healthcare and food hub of the city, its value is unimaginable. However, the areas soaring importance and popularity also makes it one of the costliest places to live in the country. And there is also the fact that Dhanmondi is, more or less, already quite occupied by residents,it makes it difficult for a large number of residents to move in.
On the other hand, Rayer Bazar is a viable option for those hoping to settle in Dhanmondi. The area is extremely connected to the core Dhanmondi area with it being on the other side of the road. And even from the most western point of Rayer Bazar, it takes only a few minutes to reach any part of the Dhanmondi area. That means, enjoying all the benefits and amenities of Dhanmondi without having to spend the same amount to find a housing option — of which, renting in particular is very affordable in Rayer Bazar.
And speaking of connectedness, two major roads flank the Rayer Bazar area — the Sat Masjid Road in the East and the Gabtoli-Sadarghat Bypass Road on the west. The bypass road can be used to quickly travel to Gabtoli and out of the city as well as to the Sadarghat area and the Babubazar Bridge to commute to Keraniganj. The bypass road will also be a part of the “Inner Ring Road” as stated in the Dhaka Structure Plan 2016-2035 — connecting the area to Narayanganj and even further. Additionally, the MRT-2 line will also go by the Sat Masjid Road, with a stop on the Jigatola Road, which will connect Rayer Bazar to Gabtoli, Dhaka University, Shahbagh, Kamalapur, and Chittagong Road.
Both the ongoing and planned future development has put a spotlight on the Rayer Bazar area. Those who have seen the area a decade ago will surely not recognize it now a decade later considering all the progress that is currently ongoing throughout the area. For these reasons, and many more, people of the city — as well as those moving to Dhaka — are investing in a future in Rayer Bazar. Their hope and wish is that the area will be the key to their future, and maybe even the future of this shining city.
This article is being published under special arrangement as part of a partnership with Bproperty