News Desk : dhakamirror.com
A study released on Monday by the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology revealed that only 8.5 per cent of the land in Dhaka has tree cover, compared to the minimum requirement of 20 per cent green landscape for a healthy city.
BUET urban and regional planning department professors Afsana Haque and Asif-uz-Zaman Khan jointly presented the findings of the study titled ‘Political Economy of Urban Green Spaces of Dhaka City’ at the BUET Council Building.
The study was conducted by the urban and regional planning department between July 2022 and October 2022.
Dhaka’s green and open spaces are owned and managed by six government bodies – Dhaka North City Corporation, Dhaka South City Corporation – Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha, the Public Works Department, the National Housing Authority, and the Bangladesh Forest Department.
City corporations sometimes introduce commercial activities in green spaces, which is a clear violation of the Town Improvement Act 1953, said Afsana Haque, who is the head of the five-member team that conducted the study funded by USAID and the US Department of Agriculture.
‘We carried out the study to identify the key stakeholders and their involvement in managing green spaces in Dhaka city,’ said Afsana.
The study also reviewed national policy frameworks to understand regulatory support for maintaining green and open spaces.
‘City corporations build markets or shops in open spaces to generate revenue. Often this money does not go to the government’s fund due to local political influence,’ the study said, quoting a government official.
Speaking as the chief guest, local government, rural development, and cooperatives minister Md Tajul Islam said that they tried to bring the matter of green areas into the detailed area plan.
‘We cannot be compared with other countries as many people live here in a small space,’ he said.
BUET vice-chancellor Satya Prasad Majumder said, ‘BUET is conducting many studies, but the ideas are staying in the rooms of the campus. We could not present all our research to the government. We should sketch a plan on how to present those to the government.’
Among those who spoke at the event were BUET pro-vice-chancellor Abdul Jabbar Khan, Rajuk member (planning) Md Nasir Uddin, and USAID official Mohammad N Khan.