Decentralization of big cities urged for the development of

Decentralize housing industry

Laying highest importance on decentralization of Dhaka or mega cities, Land Minister Md. Saifuzzaman Chowdhury, MP, urged the entrepreneurs of real estate sector to build satellite towns through public-private partnership initiative.  

“We know that Dhaka is over populated and so the government has taken a good number of development projects to make this city a better livable one,” he said, adding that more priority is given on infrastructure development.

The government is implementing 'online e-mutation' system from June this year and the land owners will be able to pay fees online, the minister said informing that land-zoning system would be implemented soon.

 The minister was speaking as the chief guest at a seminar on “Challenges of Real Estate in Urbanization and Decentralization” organised by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka on Sunday.

Md. Atiqul Islam, Mayor, Dhaka North City Corporation was present as special guest while Alamgir Shamsul Alamin, president, REHAB was present as guest of honour. DCCI President Osama Taseer chaired the seminar. 

Osama Taseer said mega cities in Bangladesh are contributing the major part to the development to economy than the rural areas. He also said that 65 percent of the country’s GDP comes from the urban areas but due to unplanned urbanization, Dhaka is in the second position in the index of unlivable cities in the world. Decentralization process of mega cities could not go further due to lack of infrastructure, weak communication and transportation system and excessive dependency on capital city.

Price hike of land and construction materials are some of the main bottlenecks for the development of real estate sector, DCCI chief said adding, “The initiative of establishing 100 economic zones by the government will help expedite decentralization of Dhaka as well as other big cities. Moreover, planned urbanization and balanced decentralization will ensure development of real estate sector.”

Kazi Golam Nasir, chief architect, Department of Architecture presented the keynote paper. The density of Dhaka city is more than 46,997 per square kilometer. Today the real estate sector plays a major role in the national economy, contributing up to 7.08 percent of the national GDP, he highlighted.

He pointed out some challenges for real estate sector in urbanization and decentralization like land scarcity, lengthy approval system, high rate of interest, poor communication system of satellite cities, policies and skilled labour. To reduce pressure on big cities, development in secondary and tertiary cities are needed, he mentioned. 

Md. Atiqul Islam said Dhaka is growing very rapidly but in an unplanned manner. A city like Dhaka, needs proper planning and integration for its further development, he said. About 49,000 people are living in every square kilometer in Dhaka, he informed. As a part of development, some of the unions adjacent to Dhaka have already been included in the city corporation area, he said. To ease the pressure on capital city, he stressed on building satellite towns outside the mega cities. Besides, all the civic facilities should be ensured in the rural areas as well to ease the pressure on capital. He said DNCC is going to launch "Nagorik App" soon and city people will get online facility using this app. Moreover, 27 playgrounds with modern facilities will be opened for mass people of the capital soon.    

Alamgir Shamsul Alamin said that the realtors already handed over about 2 lakh apartments and about 70,000 plots to the their customers. "We need to take cities to the rural areas" he said. He also said that we have to provide all the facilities of city to the people who live in rural or sub-urban areas so they do not have any need to come to cities to live.

Chairman of Asset Development and Holdings Ltd. and Former Director, DCCI Salim Akhter Khan, Managing Director of Vistaara Limited Mostafa Khalid Palash and Managing Director of Paradise Developments and Constructions Ltd. and Director, DCCI Engr. Md. Al Amin spoke on the occasion as panel discussants. DCCI Convenor Arman Haque, Professor of BUET Dr. Ahsanul Kabir, former Senior Vice Presidents, DCCI Alhaj Abdus Salam, MS Shekil Choudhury, Former Director AKD Khair Mohammad Khan took part in the open discussion session.

DCCI Vice President Imran Ahmed gave the concluding remarks.

DCCI Directors Engr. Akber Hakim, Andaleeb Hasan, Alhaj Deen Mohammad, Enamul Haque Patwary, Kh. Rashedul Ahsan, KMN Manjurul Hoque, Md. Rashedul Karim Munna, Nuher Latif Khan, SM Zillur Rahman and former President Rashed Maksud Khan were also present on the occasion.