Atiqul Islam and Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, the mayors of Dhaka north and south city corporations, have finally assumed office. Despite winning the election on the first day of February, they had to wait three and a half months due to constitutional obligations before taking charge of their respective areas.
This 'rule' of not taking the office right after the oath-taking ceremony seemed needless to us. Had the new mayors taken office soon, the city dwellers would have not needed to wait so long to enjoy their service. We do not know who benefited from this delay.
But it is clear that the citizens certainly suffered as the country's two most important city corporations functioned like a ship without rudder at the critical time of coronavirus.
During a time when the mayors of different megacities around the world took the lead in tackling the coronavirus outbreak, our city of Dhaka was lagging behind due to mere formalities.
We would like to see the two mayors use
their experience and wisdom for the benefit
of the people of the city
Despite taking on new responsibilities, in no manner can the two mayors be called new in the representation of people. Although the mayor of the south, Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, has not represented the local government before, he was elected to a parliamentary seat in Dhaka for three consecutive terms.
As he has earned reputation as a Member of Parliament, the Prime Minister relied on him for the smooth management of the Dhaka South City Corporation. On the other hand, Dhaka North Mayor Atiqul Islam won the by-election and served the city dwellers for the last one year. We would like to see the two mayors use their experience and wisdom for the benefit of the people of the city.
Right now the most daunting task that the two mayors face is fighting against coronavirus. However, with monsoon coming soon, it is also imperative to prepare for the battle against Aedes mosquitoes and dengue. It will be difficult to fight coronavirus and any dengue outbreak simultaneously without the full attention and sincerity of the two mayors.