The term of the current mayor of Chattogram City Corporation, CCC, AJM Nasir Uddin comes to an end today.
In the last five years, Nasir, who has been unpopular for various reasons, also failed to confirm the nomination of his party ruling Awami League for the second term.
On Tuesday, just before AJM Nasir's term expired, the government appointed another Awami League leader, Khorshed Alam Sujan, as the CCC administrator.
Sujan is the vice-president of the Chattogram Metropolitan of Awami League and he is well known within the party as a potential CCC mayor candidate challengingNasir.
In short discussions with Bangladesh Post at the end of his term,Nasir said that in five years term, CCC has presentedcity developmentsworth Tk 3,000 crore, which has not happened in the last 20 years. Despite this, he thinks that some people have opposed him only for the sake of playing the role of the opposition.
He said, “I have been the victim of unprecedented opposition from some quarters from inside and outside of the party and the administration.”
The CCC elections, scheduled for March 28 last, have been postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic. Although the election was not held but the fate of the outgoing mayor AJM Nasir Uddin is very much resolved.
The leader, who failed to get the party nomination, could not contest the election. AJM Nasir Uddin has to hand over the duty to the administrator, already appointed by the government.
Talking about his five-year tenure, he was asked how successful he has been in overcoming the water logging crisis in the port city of Chattogram, that was one of his priority pledges in his election campaign.
Explaining the problem Nasir said that eliminating water logging means launching projects, but barely one or two projects will not help solve the main crisis of livelihood of the port city because originally decades ago when the city started growing and expanded there was no planned drainage system.
He said, “Since taking charge, I have initiated projects in some areas including Agrabad Access Road and Port Connecting Road, the regionsmost severely affected by rain and tidal waves from the adjacent sea. After completion of these projects, currently there is an improvement in the water logging situation.”
According to various organizations, life in at least 10 out of 41 wards of Chattogram metropolis is severely affected by waterlogging during monsoon seasons. A project worth Tk 5,000 crore has been initiated by the Chattogram Development Authority CDA, apart from CCC to alleviate water logging.
Mayor Nasir Uddin, who has not been involved in the project, thinks more has to be done to make Chattogram a livable city.
Highlighting some of his successes, Nasir said that he has been able to ensure the removal of unauthorized billboards, introduce door-to-door garbage collection which is a part of the city’s clean-up initiative, beautification and extensive lighting throughout the city, permanent and quality housing for hundreds of cleaners.
Nasir said, “Nine lakh city dwellers have been given free dustbins in the last five years. The debris are cleaned at night instead of during the day. It has also changed the habits of the city dwellers, which is important for a clean city.
Azam Nasir, also General Secretary of Awami League Chattogram Metropolitan chapter, complained of non-cooperation of bureaucrats in the secretariat on which he refused to elaborate.
Mayor Nasir Uddin, who claims to be a successful mayor, blames the opposition for spreading propaganda and deprived him of party nomination for the next term.
Discussions are already underway in various quarters about the city corporation's debt of around Tk 850 crore in the current term.
In this regard, Nasir said that the debt of 2005 has not been paid yet and there are unpaid dues remaining ever fiscal year since then. This process of carrying debt from the preceding fiscals is ‘normal’.