By 2050, 70 per cent of the world is expected to be residents of the city. Some of the fastest growth is taking place in Asia, where megacities are growing rapidly, especially in the developing world. From those cities, Dhaka has become one of Asia Pacific’s fastest growing megacities. Right now, the traffic is gridlocked, the air quality is at a moment of crisis and the rivers of Dhaka are choked with human waste and garbage. Besides that, because of more demand of things in a megacity the price of all things are much higher.
According to government plans, by 2030 Dhaka will generate 40,000 MW electricity and by 2041, 60,000 MW. Dhaka will have “Dhaka Metro,” along with Elevated Express Highway and Bus Rapid Transit. By 2020, 4,673 km of Dhaka Elevated Expressway will be completed. These infrastructures are key of future Dhaka. Also, we need to remember that the government has taken multi-billion dollar loans from overseas.At the end of the fiscal year 2016-17, Bangladesh’s outstanding external debt stood at US$ 28.56 billion. According to the Bangladesh Economic Review, the government made debt service payments of US$ 1.14 billion over the period against foreign loans. In addition, high government external borrowing on mega-projects could trigger debt crises if they are not completed on time.
According to the World Population Prospect (2014), Dhaka will be the sixth largest megacity in the world in 2030 and Bangladesh’s urban population, now 53 million, will significantly increase to 112 million in 2050. Statistics indicate that the population of the city will further double by 2035. Other cities and urban population centres will also boom. Chattogram is projected to grow into another megacity of Bangladesh with a population of somewhere between 5 and 10 million by 2030.
The government of Bangladesh has launched a number of digital technology projects, some of which are already under way. The National ICT Policy 2009 was developed with a view to achieving the nation’s middle-income status by 2021 and developed status by 2041. According to the European Parliament (MEP), the goal of the country to graduate from the least developed country to the middle-income status by 2024 is an ambitious but achievable one.
Dhaka needs a spectacular plan to tackle the problems. A new 20-year Dhaka Metropolitan Development Plan has recently been drawn up. We expect Dhaka to be competitive, liveable and sustainable in the future.
Sayed Md Sayem, BSCEE, 9th Batch, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, North South University