Unplanned urbanisation rising in city periphery
In the absence of proper monitoring system by Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakkha (RAJUK), unplanned urbanisation is increasing in the city periphery.
The RAJUK, which covers an area of 1,528 square kilometres, including the city, has no supervision on its peripheries of Narayanganj, Savar and Gazipur. The RAJUK, which became an agency in 1987 from the Dhaka Improvement Trust (DIT), has now no offices in the peripheral areas to monitor urbanisation and regulate construction of concrete structures.
The experts blamed weak and slow planning and its slow implementation for the unplanned urbanisation.
Major factors behind the non-implementation of the master plan are inefficiency of the authorities concerned, manpower shortage and corruption, an urban planner said.
Internal migration has caused a demand for habitation in Dhaka city. Such a situation has forced the people to build their houses in an unplanned way, he added.
The first master plan was prepared in 1959 and the second in 1997, which is yet to be implemented.
The Dhaka Metropolitan Plan (DMP) was approved eight years ago, but there is no progress in the detailed area plan in compliance with the master plan, the planner also said.
A RAJUK official said, the plan would take more than a year to be completed.
The city is continuously expanding and developing in an unplanned way by this time.
According to the master plan, the RAJUK has five municipalities under its jurisdiction - Narayanganj, Savar, Kadam Rasul, Tongi and Gazipur. But the RAJUK did not take any steps to regulate urbanisation in these areas.
The plan clearly stated that for integrated development initiatives of the capital city, the RAJUK should chalk out development strategies and monitoring mechanism for the peripheries.
The same is the cases with the Savar Cantonment, Keraniganj and some other villages that are also part of Dhaka city. Urban experts have blamed the RAJUK for its failure in checking the ongoing unplanned growth of the city and the municipalities and said that the agency is only busy taking up new housing projects.
With more than 12 million people, Dhaka city is growing fast, inviting more problems, which must be checked and regulated properly.
The RAJUK did not set up any office in the peripheries for lack of policy on the decentralisation of its activities. Monitoring activities are also weak in the area for the same reason, said another official.
Most city areas, including Azimpur, Dhanmondi, Lalmatia, Mohammadpur, Mirpur, Gulshan, Banani and Badda areas grew in line with the master plan of 1959 till 1971, a town planner said.
Areas such as Uttara, Baridhara, and Purbachal, were also developed in a planned way. But the remaining areas grew in an unplanned way. Real estate companies are developing areas at places according to their will, flouting the master plan, he added.
According to the master plan, 40 per cent of an area needs to be allocated for roads, open space, community space, shopping malls and parks, but developers leave only about 20 per cent of areas in this case. It would create problems in the long run, he also added.