DAP hangs in balance as Rajuk waits for govt advice

December 30, 2010

The future of Dhaka’s Detailed Area Plan, gazetted six months ago, hangs in the balance as Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha refuses to take any steps to implement it until it receives recommendations from an inter-ministerial committee set up to review it.
The committee has however only met once in six months.
The government gazetted the Detailed Area Plan on June 22, 2010 six years after Rajuk, the city’s development authority, had started work in drawing up the plan.
The area plan, which is part of the Dhaka Master Plan, contains a detailed land use plan for every plot in the 590 square miles which is under the jurisdiction of Rajdhani Unnyan Katipakhha.
Under the gazetted Detailed Area Plan, Rajuk will need to reclaim more than 2,500 acres of flood flow and agricultural land taken over by real estate companies. It will also need to relocate 2,724 industries.
As the recommendations of the Strategic Transport Plan have been incorporated in the DAP, Rajuk will also need to construct roads and lanes as well as widen the existing ones.
A week after the DAP had been gazetted, the government, however, issued a
second gazette providing for the formation of an inter-ministerial committee which would undertake a ‘thorough review’ of the area plan.
The committee was set up apparently to calm down private real estate and land developers who claimed that the DAP would ‘hobble the real estate sector.’
At a meeting 10 days before the DAP was gazetted, developers also are said to have abused the state minister for housing and public works ministry.
Asked about the progress in DAP implementation, the Rajuk chairman, Nurul Huda, told New Age, ‘Each and every construction is now being approved in line with the DAP. But we cannot yet formulate an action plan to implement the DAP until the inter-ministerial committee gives its recommendations.’
Acknowledging that Rajuk was an autonomous body with full authority to implement the DAP, he added, ‘Rajuk alone cannot implement the DAP.
‘A political government does have a certain objective and commitments. The government is a vast entity. It has to deal with a lot of things. It might have its own ideas concerning the capital city. We, sitting here in Rajuk, cannot think of everything the government is thinking.’
‘It is the government which will decide how it wants to see the capital city.’
The Rajuk chairman said that as soon as the committee sets out its recommendations, they would prepare an action plan to implement the Detailed Area Plan, particularly concerning the reclamation of the occupied land and relocation of the hazardous industries.
Earlier in the year, the Rajuk chairman had said that an influential quarter was out to obstruct DAP implementation.
Dismayed at the delay in DAP implementation, urban expert Jamilur Reza Choudhury, who had headed the DAP review committee before it was gazetted, said, ‘The DAP is now on hold while wetlands and flood flow zones continue to be occupied.’
‘The second gazette is contradictory to the first one. We have prepared the DAP keeping in mind technical issues. But the government might want to take into account political factors,’ he said.
Syeda Rizwana Hasan, director of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers’ Association, said, ‘Rajuk legally has no scope to delay implementation, waiting for ministry’s proposals, as the DAP is now law.’


Courtesy of NewAge

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