If we want relief from all the existing problems of Chattogram, we need to act according to the master plan, said Md Zahirul Alam Dubash, the new chairman of Chattogram Development Authority, or CDA.
The CDA prepared ‘Chittagong Metropolitan Master Plan’ with the help of the World Bank in 1995. The plan described many things for mitigating traffic congestion, protecting the coastal people from tidal surges, which in 1991 lashed out at the coastal area claiming hundreds of thousands of lives.
But poor implementation of the master plan continues to ail the city. If the concerned authorities are unwilling to follow and implement the master plan, why did they develop one? So, it is an imperative that we act according to the master plan, said Md Zahirul Alam Dubash, the new chairman of the CDA.
He told New Age that the ruling government has plans for long-term solution and if we want to solve all problems, we need to be patient and also be ready to suffer a little more for the completion of the projects will take time.
Chittagong is located in the tropical zone, where high temperature and heavy rainfall with high humidity is a general characteristic of the summer. Annual rainfall in the city fluctuates between 2100 mm and 3800 mm, of which 2400 mm occurs only during monsoon. However, such climate has been there for centuries, while waterlogging is a comparatively recent phenomenon. In the last decade or so, this problem has been increasing due to population growth, rise in economic activities alongside unplanned urbanisation, illegal filling out of natural water channels and encroachment on drains.
Most of the drainages are obstructed by building structures, that have overtaken the natural gravitational drainage systems of the city, which were enough to cope with the rate of yearly rainfall, said Zahirul Alam.
Chattogram City Corporation, Chattogram WASA and the CDA are parts of the development plan of Chattogram. Without coordination, it would be difficult to get the best results, he added.
As I have just started working at the CDA as new chairman since April 29, I would try to go through the details of the waterlogging mega projects as citizens’ wellbeing mostly depends on this project. Only then would I be able to work on it. The former Chairman Abdus Salam already mentioned in his last speech that within the next three-four years the CDA would need to complete this project. I would definitely focus on the speedy implementation of the project, Zahirul Alam said.
Usually canal re-excavation, canal expansion — all these works must be done during the dry season. However, this year’s project started late, as a result there is poor progress of the mega project, he pointed out.
I believe, the development of Bangladesh greatly depends on the development of Chattogram. Chattogram, the largest port city as well as commercial capital of Bangladesh, is surrounded by the sea; it is full of rivers, hills and greenery, Zahirul Alam explained. He hastened to add, ‘The natural beauty must be preserved, and even enhanced, by implementing some effective measures and development works to ensure a sustainable city. Chittagong Development Authority, or the CDA’s main goal is to turn it into a livable city.’
As the honorable prime minister Sheikh Hasina promised a digital Bangladesh and development of Chattogram, the CDA should work as per her instructions.
The present government has taken different projects for the development of Chattogram through the CDA and other related government agencies.
The CDA is playing a vital role in promoting and coordinating development and control development following its master plan (1995), Detail Area Plan and Building Construction Rule according to the national development objectives, Zahirul Alam claimed.
We will try to promote Chattogram as an appropriate recipient of investment from national and international sources. The Chattogram City Outer Ring Road project with collaboration of the CDA and JICA is one of them, he added.
On the other hand, the CDA has a close relation with the general people, so, the CDA is also committed to the people for better service. To provide service to the people and for a better Chattogram, the CDA has already taken various initiatives, claimed Zahirul Alam.
To alleviate traffic congestion in Chittagong city the To alleviate traffic congestion in Chittagong city the CDA constructed four flyovers in different important junctions and widened some of the major roads. In order to provide housing facilities, the CDA has developed various housing projects in different parts of the city. So far, the CDA has handed over almost 6000 plots to the general people, he said.
In addition to that, the CDA is going to promote an international Hospital (Apollo Hospital) and International educational institution (Delhi Public School) in CDA residential area. We are also going to construct a low-income worker’s dormitory for women in collaboration with BGMEA, Zahirul Alam informed New Age.
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