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Footpaths are for pedestrians, not embassies

  • Published at 04:41 pm March 3rd, 2017
  • Last updated at 05:06 pm March 4th, 2017
Footpaths are for pedestrians, not embassies

It is a common sight in the diplomatic zone -- the security establishment of the diplomatic missions taking up all the space on the footpaths, while people are made to queue up outside rather than being allowed inside.

This is just plain wrong, and illegal.

It is, then, a laudable initiative by DNCC chief Md Mesbahul Islam whereby letters were sent out to eight diplomatic missions in Dhaka requesting them to shift their security apparatus from the footpaths to inside their missions.

The diplomatic missions that received the letter were the missions of the United States, Canada, Italy, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Turkey.

It is hoped that these countries will now cooperate with the directive, which goes back to a High Court order of 2001 ordering the DCC to free up all footpaths in the diplomatic zone.

There is no reason for these foreign missions to not comply.

After all, most embassies and high commissions take up vast amounts of space, and are more than able to accommodate guests inside their premises.

And clearly, these foreign missions are aware that footpaths are not their private property.

All citizens have the right to walk on these footpaths, which fall under the authority of the city corporation.

It is hoped this move by the DNCC will not only make life easier for residents of those areas, but also foster goodwill and understanding between Bangladeshi citizens and foreign diplomatic missions.