Dhaka Mayor Atiqul Islam Prioritizes Canals, Development in Final Year

Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Atiqul Islam outlines priorities for his final year, focusing on restoring canals, developing new wards, and combating dengue. He aims to improve living conditions, reduce waterlogging, and promote environmental initiatives in Bangladesh's capital city.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Dhaka Mayor Atiqul Islam Prioritizes Canals, Development in Final Year

Dhaka Mayor Atiqul Islam Prioritizes Canals, Development in Final Year

Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Atiqul Islam, entering the final year of his five-year term, has set his sights on restoring illegally occupied canals and completing development work in 18 new wards. In a press conference marking his four, years, failures, successes as mayor, Islam outlined his priorities for the coming year, focusing on addressing waterlogging, traffic congestion, and environmental issues in Bangladesh's capital city.

Why this matters: The success of Mayor Islam's initiatives will have a direct impact on the quality of life for Dhaka's residents, and the city's ability to manage its rapid urbanization will serve as a model for other cities in the region. Effective governance and infrastructure development in Dhaka will also have broader implications for Bangladesh's economic growth and environmental sustainability.

Mayor Islam emphasized the importance of continuing the drive against illegal occupation of canals in Dhaka, stating, "The drive to free the canal is being conducted with the utmost importance." Over the past four years, the DNCC has made significant strides in evicting grabbers and removing garbage from several canals, including the Lautala and Ramchandrapur canals in Mohammadpur, Paris canal in Mirpur, and Shutibhola canal in Satarkul.

In addition to canal restoration, the mayor announced that priority will be given to the development of roads and drainage systems in the 18 new wards under DNCC jurisdiction in the coming year. This focus on infrastructure development aims to improve the living conditions and reduce waterlogging issues in these areas.

Mayor Islam also highlighted the DNCC's ongoing efforts to prevent dengue, a mosquito-borne disease that has posed significant challenges in Dhaka. The city corporation is conducting a month-long public awareness campaign in all 54 wards before the monsoon season, allocating Tk 50,000 to each ward councillor to raise awareness about dengue prevention. Despite spending over Tk 500 crore on mosquito control efforts, the city witnessed at least 980 dengue-related deaths in 2023.

Environmental initiatives remain a key focus for the DNCC under Mayor Islam's leadership. The city corporation has planted 90,000 trees in the past two years as part of a goal to plant two lakh trees. This year, an additional 1.5 lakh trees will be planted, and 47 gardeners have been appointed to support this climate, action, plan, launched. The mayor also mentioned the expansion of online-based smart services, with the distribution of holding tax and trade licenses now being provided online.

Mayor Atiqul Islam's ambitious plans for his final year in office come amidst ongoing challenges in Dhaka, including air pollution, traffic congestion, and waste management. The World Air Quality Report 2023 named Dhaka as the second worst capital in terms of air quality, despite the mayor's promises to reduce pollution through modern technology. Traffic congestion also remains a pressing issue, with vehicles moving at an average speed of just 4.8 km/h on Dhaka streets in 2022.

As Mayor Atiqul Islam enters the final stretch of his tenure, his focus on restoring canals, developing new wards, combating dengue, and promoting environmental initiatives reflects the pressing needs of Dhaka city. The success of these efforts will largely depend on the effective implementation of plans and the cooperation of citizens and stakeholders. With one year remaining, the mayor faces the challenge of delivering tangible improvements to the lives of Dhaka's residents while laying the groundwork for sustainable urban development in the future.

Key Takeaways

  • Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Atiqul Islam prioritizes canal restoration and development in 18 new wards.
  • Mayor focuses on addressing waterlogging, traffic congestion, and environmental issues in Dhaka.
  • DNCC to continue drive against illegal canal occupation and develop roads and drainage systems.
  • Mayor launches initiatives to prevent dengue and promote environmental sustainability.
  • Success of efforts depends on effective implementation and citizen cooperation.