The government has planned to establish Gazipur Development Authority for planned urbanisation and development in Gazipur City Corporation and in the vicinity of the city amid disagreement of urban planners and the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha.
Gazipur city corporation area and some parts of Kaliganj upazila of Gazipur are now under Rajuk’s jurisdiction with an area of 1,528 square kilometres.
Housing and public works ministry secretary Md Shahid Ullah Khandaker told New Age on May 4, ‘We have drafted Gazipur Development Authority Bill 2016 and already taken opinions from stakeholders on it. The draft bill would be placed before the cabinet for approval soon.’
He said that the initiative was taken to check the unplanned development activities in Gazipur as it was difficult for Rajuk to oversee development works there.
Rajuk has recently prepared new structural plan or master plan for the areas under its jurisdiction for the next 20 years up to 2035 and the preparation of detailed area plan is now underway.
Rajuk officials said that the capital development authority had given note of dissent on the proposed Gazipur Development Authority when the ministry sought opinion.
They said that Rajuk did not consent to the establishment of Gazipur Development Authority as the city was still under Rajuk’s jurisdiction.
Rajuk director for DAP project Md Ashraful Islam said that it would create confusion among the people if the government established the new development authority within the jurisdiction of Rajuk covering 1,528 square kilometres.
He, however, said that the proposed development authority could follow Rajuk’s structural plan and DAP, now under preparation, if it was ultimately established.
Centre for Urban Studies chairman Nazrul Islam said that it was an unwise decision to establish new development authority in the Dhaka metropolitan region as it would contradict with the Dhaka master plan and the city corporation.
He said that the government should strengthen the local government authorities like city corporations and municipal councils instead of creating new development authorities for ensuring control over development activities and planned urbanisation.
Nazrul advocated a wider master plan or structural plan for city development and empowerment of local government authorities to prepare detailed area plan.
He said that if Gazipur Development Authority was established, people of Narayanganj would also demand establishment of another development authority for them.
Local lawmaker Md Zahid Ahsan Russel, also member of parliamentary standing committee on housing ministry, said that Gazipur had been witnessing unplanned development in the absence of Rajuk’s control.
‘It is a welcome move of the housing ministry to establish a new development authority for Gazipur,’ he said.
Russel said that if the new development authority was established Gazipur would be developed into a model city.
The government established Cox’s Bazar Development Authority in 2016.
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