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Dhaka Tribune

New mayors must deliver on promises

Update : 29 Apr 2015, 06:25 PM

The public will be watching carefully to see how well the new mayors of Dhaka and Chittagong fulfill their campaign pledges.

All residents share a common interest in hoping that they can reverse the legacy of poor planning and mismanagement which have reduced quality of life and blighted the development of the country’s two leading cities.

Between them, the two leading candidates in the Chittagong, Dhaka North and Dhaka South mayoral elections received over 2.25 million votes.

There can be no doubt that turnout would have been far higher had not so many voters been deterred by ballot rigging attempts and the  withdrawals of candidates.

As the mayoral debates showed, there is an enormous public appetite for new ideas and meaningful improvements to basic services such as public transport and waste collection.

While some of the long-term improvements to city planning and infrastructure which residents hope to see require significant amounts of funding and negotiation, many issues of concern to citizens do not require major new resources but are about improving day-to-day management.

The new mayors can make a good start in living up to their promises, by rooting out corruption and inertia from the city corporations and tackling the neglect and tolerance of encroachment which has harmed so many of the city’s public green spaces.

It is vital the mayors use their authority and influence to bring both the strategic vision the cities need to develop sustainably and the day-to-day improvements in services which citizens crave.

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