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Sylhet going to get dev authority

Published : 23 Oct 2023 10:20 PM

The government has decided to form ‘Sylhet Unnayan Kartripakkhya’ (Sylhet Development Authority) for accelerating the development activities of Sylhet city.

The Ministry of Housing and Public Works Ministry had taken the initiative to form the Sylhet Unnayan Kartripakkhya in a bid to bring well-planned development in Sylhet with a view to establishing a modern and attractive tourist city in Sylhet city and the adjoining areas.

From this view of point, ‘The Sylhet Development Authority Bill’ was placed in the Parliament this year, almost 23 years after the formation of Sylhet City Corporation (SCC). Later, the bill was sent to the respective parliamentary standing committee for scrutiny. 

Housing and Public Works Minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain placed the report of the parliamentary standing committee on the Ministry Housing and Public Works on Sunday (October 23, 2023). 

Sources said that the ‘The Sylhet Development Authority Bill, 2023’ is likely to be passed in the current 

session of the 11th Parliament, which likely to be last session of the current parliament. After enactment of the law, the Sylhet Development Authority (SDA) will be formed. 

The draft of the proposed ‘Sylhet Development Authority Act’ was prepared in 2020. Later, it was approved in the Cabinet. The formation of the proposed Sylhet Development Authority (SDA) has been delayed as the successive elected mayors and some others were allegedly not interested in such a move fearing loss of their absolute dominance over the activities of the city corporation. 

Mayor elect of Sylhet City Corporation Anwaruzzaman Chowdhury appreciated the government’s move to form the SDA. He said that the government took the step to form the SDA for proper implementation of development programmes. 

It was known that the ‘Sylhet Development Authority Bill’ has been placed in the Parliament at the last moment following the efforts of Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, who is the MP from Sylhet-1 constituency which covers the city area. 

Dr AK Abdul Momen at a meeting in Sylhet had said that the development authority would be formed in Sylhet immediately. It will be possible to see a planned development once the ‘Sylhet Unnayan Kartripakkhya’ is established.

Eight sections were incorporated into the proposed law- ‘Sylhet Development Authority Act’. It has many sub-sections and 55 articles. 

According to the proposed law, the SDA will be formed with a 17-member body, including chairman. Other members are-- three government nominated members, deputy commissioner (DC) of Sylhet, Police Super, SCC’s chief executive officer, deputy secretary-rank representatives from Ministries of Land Ministry Environment, Forest and Climate Change, representative from Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, representative from urban planning department of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST), executive engineer of Sylhet Public Works Department, representative from Sylhet Architecture Department, and representative from Sylhet Chamber and Commerce. Three other government nominated members, including a woman, will also be included in the SDA. Three members will come from the SDA area. 

Sylhet city is situated on the bank of Surma River. In 1995, the government had declared Sylhet as the sixth divisional headquarters of the country. 

The Sylhet Municipality was formed in 1867 and it was upgraded to city corporation on April 9 in 2001. 

Some people from Sylhet said that formation of Sylhet Development Authority is important to avoid unplanned urbanization in Sylhet city area.

Abdul Hye Al-Hadi, an environmental activist from Sylhet, told the Bangladesh Post that the number of people in Sylhet city is increasing day by day, while unplanned urbanization is also on the rise. Dense settlements have developed in many parts of the city without any planning. The Sylhet Development Authority is needed for controlling such acts.