It seems that Mayor Annisul Huq’s vision of a “green and clean” Dhaka is not on the cards.
Over the past few months, hundreds of trees have been cut down, especially in the Banani and Gulshan areas.
With a city as congested with vehicles as Dhaka, trees should play a crucial role in the city’s infrastructural make-up and sustainability.
This government has undertaken a number of admirable initiatives, but proper planning is crucial for the city and its future.
Trees should be an indispensable part of that plan.
Dhaka already suffers from massive amounts of pollution, and it has been scientifically proven that trees can cut down on air pollution.
For urban hubs, trees can also be hugely beneficial by reducing temperature and helping to prevent flooding.
The felling of trees does not merely present an environmental issue -- it takes away from the beauty of the city. And while planting saplings for the future is a noble initiative, it does not make up for the magnificent trees that are being cut down today. It will take years for the saplings to grow into large trees, but we need to look out for the quality of life here and now.
Incorporating trees into the city should be part of the city’s journey towards progress. Though it is understandable that this progress might occasionally mean prioritising man-made structures, there must be a way where one does not supersede the other.
Hundreds of cities around the world have succeeded in urban planning which has resulted in urbanisation and the greenery surviving together. Cities such as Singapore and Dubai have trees imported. Dhaka would do well to take a leaf out of their books.
Trees cannot be allowed to become the victims in the course of the capital’s urban development. They should be a central part of the vision for a clean, liveable city.