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New policy to modernise Dhaka

Published : 22 Jun 2019 09:17 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 09:42 AM

Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) has added five new policies in the revised Detailed Area Plan (DAP) in order to make the capital Dhaka a livable city.
The new policies include re-development of land, land rearrangement, developmental (improvement) fee, transit based development and replacement of development rights.

The experts and town planners said that once this plan is implemented, Dhaka will be a better city. According to the new plan, in the areas which have increased the price of land, special tax will be imposed. There will be special facilities for the affected land owners. Who are unable to develop their infrastructure for being their land in a special area or marked as Heritage site, they will be given land or plots elsewhere.

Besides, in this revised DAP, there is also plan to reform the congested areas in a planned way after demolishing unplanned infrastructure. The 20-year plan for 1,528 square kilometers areas of RAJUK, will be prevalent till 2035. The Masterplan of Dhaka City, which started in 2016, can be published in the form of gazette this month.

Asked about the context, Project Director of DAP Ashraful Islam said, “There were many complaints about Rajuk's first DAP. Correcting those amendments to the revised DAP, several initiatives have been taken including re-development of land and land rearrangement to make the city modern and livable. The new policies and initiatives will be implemented step by step.”

Regarding the recommendations of the revised DAP, Secretary General of Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) Adil Mohammad Khan told Bangladesh Post, “The revised DAP includes re-development of land, land rearrangement and transit based development, which is a good initiative. Many countries of the world have improved in such ways.”

He also said, “It is not possible to make a planned city in a small area. When the area will be big, it will be possible to make a planned city where all the civic facilities can be included. In the plan, there is a target to protect wetlands and canals in the DAP areas.” Emphasis has also been given to the investment-friendly environment, development of parks and playgrounds and recovery of lakes, canals and water bodies, he added.

Re-development of land: Cites like Singapore, Japan, and Korea have become modern cities by implementing re-development of land policy. The different parts of the city become risky for unplanned infrastructure, increasing population density and ineffective land using plan. If re-development policy is implemented in the risky part of the capital, it will bring adjustment in whole part of the capital. The new policies will be implemented by adding several non-governmental plots. After implementing the policy, each plot owner will get certain part of the new development policy which is equivalent to the preceding plot.

Land rearrangement: According to land rearrangement policy, the ponds, canals, parks, playgrounds, roads, and other civic facilities will be created by engaging local people in a certain area. Thus, livable and better environment will prevail in the developed area. For that, land owners have to sacrifice/give a few parts of their land. It can be both governmental and non-governmental way. After implementing whole planning, the government will give the lands to the land owners which will be a little bit less than their previous land volume.

Developmental (improvement) fee: the developmental/improvement fee is one type of revenue. This imposes when the value of a certain area increase after massive investment of the government in that area. The government may take different development initiative by this money. The development cost through developmental fees or taxation is to be retrieved, part of the construction expenditure is recovered. In this way, the fees charged by the owners of the property can be realized. This will increase government revenue, which the government can use in other development programmes.

Transit-based development: Transit-based development strategy is to use metro rail or similar stations in a planned and economical way from where it can be possible to promote employment and business. Public transportation reducethe use of personal car and increase public rider that facilitate transportation system. Based on transit station or station, it is possible to develop a habitable and environment friendly city.

Replacement of development rights:affected land owners, whose land announced as environmental sensitive area or historically important places, where the development process is not generally approved or identified as protected area will get compensation according to replacement of development rights policy. They will get land at other places. The recipient of the development rights can establish high rise infrastructure at new area.