If you compare Bangladesh within south-east Asia, it is one of the smallest country in size. But if you compare Dhaka as per the population living in a city, it will be one of the mostly densed city in this region or may be in the world. Almost 20 million people live in this city now. It has become very difficult to identify the end line of Dhaka city for the unplanned expansion of this city for last many years. With the expansion of this city and for not having responsible person elected for taking care of the problems of this city, lots of corruption and problems have arisen within this famous and one of the oldest city of this region. We, the people who live here, are responsible for these problems and equally the institutions who are supposed to be taking care for the solution of this city are also responsible for these unsolved problems. As we have elected mayors for both part of this mega city, they must act quickly with the government to resolve the issues. Unfortunately, it is most of the time difficult to reach to the political leaders to point out our problems. Most of the times they remain really very active just before the election and just after the election to show down development work of the city, but when they find themselves in their air conditioned room, they forget about the public problems and remain busy with the daily routine works.
We should identify the problems first, because sometimes our leaders start jumping into the solution without identifying the root causes of the problems of the city. Our Mayors and government think that there are thousands of problems existed in this city, but that is a wrong idea. There are only few major problems in this city like below:
a. Traffic problem.
b. Shortage of pure drinking water.
c. Housing problem.
d. Electricity problem.
e. Gas problem.
f. Cleanliness of the city.
Above are the real major problems, without solving this problem this city cannot move forward. When Mayors thinks about thousands of problem of this city together, they lose the interest to work on those. Rather, if they concentrate solving the above six problems only, then most of the problems will automatically will be solved. They must start working on these selected problems urgently.
I am trying to suggest some solutions for the above problems below:
All the walkways for pedestrians must be kept free for walking and if there is no walkway, it should be built immediately. All the illegal parking, shops and transport stands on the road must be removed immediately. Roads should be kept free for the smooth movement of the transports. Please stop using the traffic police as traffic signals, rather enforce the traffic signaling system. If anyone violate traffic signal, must be fined financially with big amount. I hope, these steps will modify the Dhaka city traffic free.
My suggestion for the cleanliness problem of the city is very simple. All the flat owners or home owners should be provided with designated basket or bins by city corporation which should be bought by the flat or home owners. City corporation to collect those bins daily area wise and send all those collected dirt to the recycling plant or place daily. At present, flat or home owners are paying from 150-200 BDT to privet organisations for collecting this bins, so they can do the same to the city corporation for collection of these waste on monthly basis. As the wastes are collected daily and sent straight to recycling plant from the house/ flat, there is no possibility of lack of cleanliness in the city. However, if anyone does, must have rules to be fined for doing so. As City corporation are paid directly for this specific job monthly, they will remain accountable to the city dwellers directly.
Solutions for Gas, Electricity and Pure water is just one. Government to impose pre-paid metre for using gas, electricity and water everywhere and people has to follow ‘pay as you go’ system. If Mayors can effectively implement this project, then they will not need to ask for help, instead they can even help other cities of the country by supplying gas, electricity and water. Thus they can make a fund for further development of the city.
Land are did not increase as like the population. For solution of housing problem, city mayors and above all government has to take over the responsibility. Government has to stop allowing private real state developers for any housing project. Government has to build real state project under city corporation, where people will buy or rent flat/ house from city corporation. City corporation will get the rent as the owner of the house or flat. Thus city corporation can build more high raise buildings. From now, we must look for high raise buildings and maximum parking are with each buildings in the city. If needed, we need to demolish and rebuild old buildings to solve the housing problems in the city.
Civil society has got a great role for the solution of the problems, though government and elected mayors will be in the main roles. Everyone should perform their duties honestly and willingly. Only then this city can get its beauty back just within couple of years. It may be necessary to take difficult and strong decision by the government which may not be liked by all, but for the sake of this city, they have to do it. I hope, two mayors of this divided mega city will take immediate steps to solve the existing problems and work for the beautification of this city.