DAP impractical, says minister

Referring to the ‘faulty’ detailed area plan (DAP), Housing and Public Works Minister Engr Mosharraf Hossain has instructed Rajuk to prepare the Dhaka Structure Plan (DSP) 2016-2035 based on the real factors.
“The DAP planners didn’t go on the field visit before preparing it. Reality-based DAP and DSP have to be adopted to make Dhaka a truly planned, liveable city.”
The DAP was not framed using experience from visiting the sites physically.
The minister said this at the inaugural session of the two-day national seminar styled ‘Draft Dhaka
Structure Plan 2016-2035’ organised by Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) at Rajuk Bhaban in the capital on Sunday.
The event seeks suggestions and recommendations from the stakeholders.
Mosharraf said it is difficult to demarcate the boundary of Dhaka city as the adjoining areas like Narayanganj and Gazipur are becoming attached to Dhaka.
Laying emphasis on keeping water bodies in residential areas, he urged private land developers and realtors to plan new residential areas with space for lake.
The encroached banks of the Shitalakkhya will be reclaimed and steps to be taken so that nobody can occupy the river banks further, the minister noted.
He underscored the need for coordination between government agencies and property developers to build Dhaka a truly liveable and planned city.
There are 50 canals in Dhaka and WASA has already made a move to rescue most of them, Mosharraf said, urging the public to take part in beautifying the city where they live in.
“Dhaka has virtually turned into a city of rickshaws or three-wheelers, footpath shops. It must be decided which vehicles will ply the streets. There are multi-storey parking buildings, but people don’t park their cars over there—they park on roads. There are many illegal structures here. Commercial as well as residential areas are losing their character. So, all these need to be amended.”
To this end, he said, Rajuk officials must work honestly.
Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Annisul Huq, Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon, Narayanganj City Corporation Mayor Dr Selina Hayat Ivy, Gazipur City Corporation Mayor (in-charge) Asadur Rahman Kiron also spoke.
There are provisions to review strategic plans every five years, Annisul said, but no review has been made yet. “So, how development may take place?”
“To implement any development plan, coordination among stakeholders is a must to make a plan successful. So, Dhaka Structure Plan needs to be analysed further, more participatory and coordinated effort is needed.”
Getting encroached year after year, the rivers around Dhaka have now turned into drains, Annisul questioned, “How powerful the encroachers are? Why are they allowed to do such illegal acts?”
“It’s necessary to prevent them as there are not more powerful than the government,” he mentioned.
To this end, the city father said, special tribunal can be formed to punish the encroachers of rivers and canals in and around Dhaka. “Rajuk has to be more powerful. A task force can be formed with WASA to do all these job.”
Meanwhile, DSCC Mayor Sayeed Khokon said the DSP is vital for the city of over a crore people. Participation and representation of all concerned of the society and agencies to turn the DSP a reality.
Some 56 departments and 14 authorities involved in the drainage system and its management here, but there is no coordination among them, he alleged.
“Lack of coordination among the government agencies concerned has brought Dhaka’s residents to a very critical situation today,” Khokon deplored.
He said traffic jam and waterlogging are the two major problems in Dhaka city, box culverts are 25/30 years old, almost all of them are filled with dust. So, steps to be taken to break them for creating free flow of drainage water.
Narayanganj Mayor Dr Selina called to go for implementation rather than making more and more plans and the agencies have to be empowered to implement their designated works.
Although there are provisions to keep open space in the DSP, she said, open spaces are being occupied by influential quarters.
Rajuk Chairman GM Joinal Abedin Bhuiyan presided over the inaugural session while team leader and deputy team leader of Rajuk’s RDP Project presented a keynote paper.
The Rajuk boss in his speech said the DSP 2016-2035 aims to make Dhaka a liveable, functional and resilient metropolitan city respecting local socio-cultural fabric and environmental sustainability.
A technical session was held on the first day. Three papers were presented—‘Effective Land Management for Liveable Dhaka’, ‘Transport for Efficient Connectivity’ and ‘Resilience through Disaster Prevention and Mitigation’.
Prof Nazrul Islam, chairman of Centre for Urban Studies, moderated it. daily sun