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Eviction does more harm than good

  • Published at 05:15 pm July 22nd, 2016
  • Last updated at 05:17 pm July 23rd, 2016

The government’s decision to evict around 13,000 establishments from Dhaka’s Gulshan, Banani, and Baridhara areas in the wake of the Holey Artisan Bakery attack will do nothing to stop terrorist attacks of its kind in the future.
The move seeks to re-zone certain areas of Dhaka so that commercial institutions, including restaurants, schools, universities, and hospitals have to be shifted to non-residential or commercial areas. Leading urban planners and analysts have come forward to say that such a move is unlikely to stop terrorism from spreading its wings. In fact, this is not only harmful, but not financially feasible. The removal of these institutions will result in thousands losing their jobs, not to mention the inconvenience and damage caused to local residents and businesspeople. Local business-owners have made investments in the crores to set up these establishments, and such a costly move might result in many of these profitable institutions unable to cope. And with the fee of land conversion from residential to non-residential or commercial having been increased by up to 750%, most would find bearing the costs untenable. Why were these rules not implemented as these institutions were being established or built? This is additionally hypocritical on the government’s part as its own organisation, RAJUK, has allowed this to happen, while certain high-profile buildings, such as the one belonging to BGMEA, were allowed to be built illegally. The government, instead, needs a well-thought-out plan that focuses on the real issues behind the rising threat of terrorist activities, instead of shifting the goal posts to distract itself and the rest of the nation from the real problems at hand.