Move to split DCC gets cabinet nod

October 18, 2011

In a major move, the Cabinet on Monday approved a proposal to split the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) into Dhaka City Corporation (North) and Dhaka City Corporation (South) to ensure better administration and civic services in the fast growing highly-populated capital city. The proposal to amend the Local Government (City Corporation) Act, 2009 was approved in principle at the weekly Cabinet meeting at the secretariat, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
“To provide city-dwellers the best public service, the government has decided to bifurcate the city,” the Prime Minister’s press secretary, Abul Kalam Azad, said. The DCC (North) will be formed with 36 of the total 92 wards, and the DCC (South) will have the remaining 56 wards, Azad said. According to the draft, the DCC (North) will consist of 1-23, 37-45 and 54-55 wards, while the DCC (South) will have 24-36, 48-53, 56-66, 68, and 92 wards, he added.
As per the proposal, Mohammadpur, Mirpur, Tejgaon, Gulshan, Badda and Uttara police stations would be part of the DCC (North) and Dhanmandi, Ramna, Motijheel and the police stations of old Dhaka would fall within the jurisdiction of the DCC (South).
Tejgaon and Mohammadpur police stations will mark the DCC (North) border with the South. “At present, the population of the city is around 12 million and the DCC covers an area of 150 sq km. One city corporation cannot provide services to such a huge population, and for this the government has decided to split the DCC”, a cabinet member told The Independent, quoting the Prime Minister. But he said the cabinet did not discuss anything about the Dhaka City Corporation elections.
A senior official of the LGRD ministry said the amendment would be placed in Parliament in the ensuing session, and elections to the two city corporations would be held after that.
The Cabinet also approved the drafts of the Competition Act, 2011 and the Forest Act, 2011, Azad said.
The Dhaka Municipality was established on August 1, 1864. Before that, a Committee of Improvement existed in the city in 1823. After the partition of British-ruled India, Dhaka became the provincial capital of the then East Pakistan in 1947. The Dhaka Municipal Committee was superseded by the government on November 19, 1947. In December 1953, the elected chairman took over his office, and again in August 1959 the municipality was superseded.
In 1960, the government divided the city area into 25 Unions, which were increased to 30 in 1964. The chairmen of the Union Councils were members of the Dhaka Municipality.
Dhaka became the capital of independent Bangladesh after the Pakistani army was defeated in the War of Liberation in 1971.
The city area was divided into 50 wards and election of Ward Commissioners was held in 1977 with the introduction of the Pourasabha Ordinance, 1977.
In 1978, the Dhaka Municipality became a Corporation, and the existing chairman became the Mayor of the Corporation. The municipal corporation was superseded by the promulgation of martial law in March 1982.
The corporation was formed with the introduction of the Dhaka Municipal Corporation Ordinance, 1993, repealing the application of the Pourasabha Ordinance, 1977. Later, the number of wards was increased to 75 and Administrators/Mayors were appointed by the government till 1994. In 1990, the Dhaka Municipal Corporation was renamed as the Dhaka City Corporation, and was divided into zones to fulfil the objectives of decentralisation.
The area of the City Corporation at present is about 360 sq km. The population within the corporation area, according to the 1991 census, was 33,97,187. At present, Dhaka Metropolitan City covers nearly 1,530 sq km, with an estimated population of more than 10 million.

-With The Independent input

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