Tuesday, 5 July, 2022

Taposh focuses on long-term dev plan

In addition to freeing the city corporation from corruption during his past two years in office, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh is also focusing on long-term plans to turn Dhaka into a more livable city.

“If the government prepares a list of corruption-free government institutions, Dhaka South City Corporation will top the list,” Taposh said while addressing a press conference, marking his two years in office at Nagar Bhaban in the capital.

Taposh, also a nephew of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, won the polls on 1 February 2020 with the backing of the ruling Awami League with a five-point election manifesto.

He took over the charge on May 13 of that year.

A day after assuming office, mayor Taposh fired chief revenue officer Yusuf Ali Sarder and additional chief engineer Md Asaduzzaman in the interest of DSCC.

It is alleged that the top officials were involved in widespread corruption.

In the last two years, Taposh removed a dozen of officials, including, the taxation officer of revenue circle-3 Atahar Ali Khan from the office on the same grounds.

Speaking about his success, he mentioned that DSCC’s income was Tk 2 billion higher during his tenure than in the previous corresponding years. DSCC also managed to clean canals, improved capacity in waste management and addressed the mosquito and waterlogging problems.

Speaking about his future plan, he said, “We are preparing an integrated master plan as the development guideline.  Under the master plan, we are now planning to build a central business district and Sheikh Hasina Convention Centre in Keraniganj.”

He also said they are planning to establish an eco-park in Fakirkhali area and ensure the conservation of Dhaka Gate in the Dhaka University area.

                The DSCC mayor also said they will not allow any sewerage connection with their stormwater drains from July 1 which is the main polluter of the Dhaka city’s canals and water bodies.

 “It is the duty of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority to manage sewerage, I hope they will play their duty but if not, we will not allow any sewerage connection to stormwater drains,” he said.

Stressing the need for decentralization to release pressure on Dhaka city, Taposh said the Prime Minister’s plan to turn every village into a city needs to be materialized quickly. Planned urbanisation and development works will have to be done around Dhaka city as early as possible for its decentralization.

“More than two crore people live in Dhaka city, which has reached its capacity. If we cannot stop the flow of people towards Dhaka, this city cannot host those additional people. No big projects and plans will work if this flow cannot be reduced,” said the DSCC Mayor.

Suggesting the government take the necessary initiatives to bring Dhaka’s activities and management under a time schedule, the Mayor said to make Dhaka a modern and livable city, all private offices, shops, shopping malls, markets and other institutes will have to be shut down by 8:00 pm every day.

Except for emergency services and medicine shops, other institutes and commercial establishments will have to take special permission from the city corporation to keep their establishments open after 8:00 pm. But the restaurant will be allowed to remain open till 10:00 pm, he said.

“We will sit with stakeholders in this regard to discuss the matter shortly.”

About clearing footpaths, the Taposh said they want to make Dhaka city more pedestrian-friendly and bring hawkers under a discipline through proper management.

About the waterlogging problem, the mayor said they took initiatives to construct infrastructure at 125 points identifying those as the hotspot for waterlogging and 90 percent of the works have already been completed.

Expressing his hope to make rainwater move away from roads within 30 minutes during this upcoming rainy season, the mayor said they also identified 11 new hotspots and have taken initiatives to construct infrastructure there to solve the problem.