Dhaka is the heart of Bangladesh. There is a lot of development work planning but the first thing to think about is whether it is being developed as a city suitable for living of about 21.8 million people. Dhaka is still one of the worst cities in the world. There are many reasons for this, but the first one is unbearable traffic jam. It is often seen that it takes 10 minutes to cross the road; sometime it takes 2-3 hours to cross the intersections. A large number of people’s work time is wasted for such traffic jam. Not only is it a waste of time but also it hurts people economically. It can’t stop at the expense of time and money, but it also does not hesitate to take the life of people. Because many times when dying patients are taken to the hospital, people are seen dying on the road due to traffic jam. Over the years, there has been a lot of talk about eradicating this problem, many plans have been taken, but the situation has not changed much. On the contrary, the amount of traffic jam on some roads has become more intense.
Neither public transport nor communication system is being developed as per the rate of population. However, due to uncontrolled increase in small cars or private cars, traffic congestion is increasing on the roads of Dhaka. However, Dhaka is still the center of all administrative activities. Almost all types of living facilities including employment, education, and medical treatment are considered to be the most in Dhaka. So all the people migrated to Dhaka in the hope of getting all these facilities but unfortunately they are faced a lots of misery.
The quality of developed & underdeveloped cities is determined based on the stability of different cities around the world, the level of crime, the natural environment, the cultural environment, education, medicine, entertainment and the quality of life of the people. On the basis of that quality, rickshaw city Dhaka has already bought notoriety as a congested city and uninhabitable.
The first criterion for considering whether a city is habitable is the environment. But Dhaka city is not habitable because more than 5 thousand metric tons of garbage is being produced every day. When we go to different areas, we can see piles of garbage on the roads. There are very few roads in Dhaka where you can’t see banana peels, paper, plastic bags or bottles. Many pedestrians have to walk on the road with the concern that the overflowing garbage of the open container will be blown away by the nose or something will fall on the truck carrying the garbage. And the stench emanates from the piles of rubbish that have formed in various alleys or intersections, which, together with the pure air, pollutes both the environment and the air by creating toxic air.
The population of this metropolis with an area of about 1473 sq km is now 2 crore 16 lakhs. With the increase in population, slums have sprung up in Dhaka city, numbering more than five thousand. According to a public-private survey, the number of slum dwellers is about 4 million. All of them are low-income people, including rickshaw pullers, van drivers, sidewalk hawkers, mobile hawkers, day laborers and workers in various professions and most of them live in slums with their families. Everyone knows what a slum environment is like. There is no potable water or sanitation, not even ventilation. In this way 4 million people live inhumane lives in the slums of Dhaka. Unhealthy slums are one of the causes of environmental pollution.
In the context of the environment, we have to talk about air pollution. Air pollution in Dhaka city sometimes reaches such a level that it seems that the amount of oxygen here is close to zero. According to an international organization that monitors air pollution in different cities of the world, on February 26 this year, the air pollution in Dhaka city was the highest in the world. Environment Minister Mohammad Shahabuddin has admitted to a news agency that air pollution in Dhaka city has reached extreme levels. He blamed dust from various construction projects, smoke from unfit motor vehicles and bus-trucks and brickfields around Dhaka city, from where a lot of black smoke floated over the city. As a result pure air decreases day after day.
Dhaka is one of the most populous mega cities in the world. As the population of Dhaka metropolis grows unplanned and uncontrolled, the city is unable to cope up with the changed civic amenities due to the limitations of their internal resources and management. And as a result of unplanned urbanization, it has become difficult to find the land in Dhaka city. Some unscrupulous people are occupying the shores of lakes and rivers. As a result rivers are losing navigability, lakes are getting polluted and as a result big problems like water logging are being created in Dhaka city. Inadequate drainage system, low capacity and shallow outdated drainage system, open or faulty drainage system, lack of proper maintenance of existing drainage system or non-removal of waste piles are the main causes of water logging. Also, the lack of effective coordination among multiple agencies involved in drainage management seems to have exacerbated the crisis. And because of this water logging, people are also suffering from deadly diseases like dengue, malaria or chikungunya.
However, according to Dhaka WASA, the drains currently in the capital have a maximum capacity of 60 ml per hour. As a result, when it rains more, water logging and water logging are created naturally. However, urbanites and experts say that improving the drainage system alone will not solve the problem. Instead, all canals should be recovered from illegal occupants without delay and their connections should be re-established. Not only that, but also the need to increase the capacity, coordination and raise public awareness of public service organizations to deal with water logging.
Difficulties are not limited to traffic jams, environmental pollution, water logging or air pollution, but also protect the sidewalks built for the movement of ordinary people. It is difficult to understand the pedestrians or hawkers of the capital. Almost all the busy street sidewalks are now occupied by hawkers. Pedestrians have to get up to speed on the sidewalks in the business of mobile and temporary hawkers. In other words, the sidewalk has become one of the reasons for the suffering of pedestrians.
On the one hand, the population pressure is increasing; on the other hand, the dream of building an environmentally friendly capital due to thousands of obstacles is still unfulfilled. Because even though the perimeter of the city is increasing day by day, the lack of planning is still evident. For example, industries are being set up freely in residential areas. As a result, many city dwellers are becoming helpless and living in a risky way. Apart from this, the lack of the nature that can give indescribable joy and comfort to the people by removing the fatigue and exhaustion of human life is becoming apparent day by day in the capital. There is a shortage of children’s parks, playgrounds and recreation centers, which are essential for the development of children, and the amount of vegetation is declining at a massive rate. And the dream of the people of the capital is going to be exhausted by unplanned urbanization and people’s greed. Making Dhaka a livable city to end this situation is the biggest challenge of the moment and in order to face this challenge we have to focus on the security of the citizens of Dhaka as well as increase the living facilities. Therefore, in order to make the capital Dhaka congested, first of all, public transport has to be increased, on the other hand, the use of private vehicles has to be reduced, and secondly, in order to keep the environment free from pollution, everyone has to be responsible. Therefore, not only the government but also the sincerity and public awareness of the morning is needed to build a livable Dhaka.
The writer is a student of Department of Economics, Jagannath University.