Civil and environmental engineering department head of the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, professor Mohammad Azizul Hoque, observed that Sylhet City Corporation authorities are taking many development projects and are also implementing these projects to facilitate the citizens with better advantages.
The authorities, however, have to be more attentive to prepare a long-term master plan, to develop a strong coordination with other development partners for better implementation of the projects for establishing the city as a liveable and clean habitat for the next generation, he said while talking to New Age.
Professor Azizul said that Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology has been working for the Dhaka City Corporation for a long period of time, adding that the experts at BUET usually work out suitable strategy to implement any crucial project, carry out necessary feasibility test and other experiments to justify its sustainability and then the DCC, now split into north and south, takes required initiative to implement the project.
They also provide proper recommendation for specific development project through sharing their findings in this regard with the Information Technology Network, he added.
If the SCC is able to maintain similar link with one or more institutions, the pace of the implementation of different development activities would be faster and easier, professor Azizul said.
‘Building Sylhet as a well-designed city is still possible. To achieve the goal, the authorities concerned will have to take suitable plan without further delay and move towards the goal in accordance with the plan,” he continued.
If the authorities take time to outline a master plan of development, the situation will become more critical and things may go out of hand, leaving no room for achieving the expected goals, professor Azizul added.
He said that maintaining the National Building Code is a crucial issue in the infrastructural development of a big city. Developing an appropriate road network is also needed to ensure that the city dwellers get the benefit of development.
So, after reclaiming the lands from the possession of illegal grabbers, city roads must be demarcated right now in synchrony with the long-term plan, Mohammad Azizul Hoque recommended. He also highlighted the need for an updated transportation system and efficient traffic management for a city enriched in civic amenities.
He said that the revitalisation of all canals and their tributaries across the city by ensuring navigability and bringing other water bodies back to their original shapes after reclaiming their encroached parts has no alternative if we were to get rid of waterlogging.
Professor Azizul further stated that Bangladesh is divided into four zones according to the levels of vulnerability during earthquake and the Sylhet region is located in the highest earthquake-prone zone.
As a result, a number of special recommendations have been set for Sylhet in the revised Bangladesh National Building Code, which is supposed to be gazetted in the current year, and it is a special concern for the city corporation and its development partners, he noted.
Keeping proper fire extinguishing measure and wider space for ventilation, arrangement of improved sanitation and drainage system would be mandatory to any structure both at residential and commercial areas in the city after enactment of the revised BNBC, he said.
Professor Azizul said that the formation of Sylhet Development Authority would be necessary for proper implementation of a long-term master plan. It would be of immense benefit to the city if the SDA is constituted and an adequate authorisation to exercise power is ensured maintaining a specific guideline, he observed.
They (SCC and SDA and their development partners) have to perform in more constructive way, they should further strengthen their position in areas of responsibility, he said, adding that only then will the effort to increase coordination with all quarters in the society would be fruitful.
He commented that the city dwellers also should have to be aware about their rights and responsibilities. Until they grow a feeling of ownership and realise that each of them is also a custodian of public assets, reaching the much-awaited ‘sustainable development’ would not be possible.
For instance — if the city corporation constructs a drain to clear rainwater from the road and its adjoining areas, but to get the benefit of having the drain would not be possible if the people keep stuffing it up with waste matters, the SUST professor pointed out.
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