Thursday, December 8, 2011
Planned urbanisation with housing and civic amenities is imperative for poverty alleviation and development, ministers and experts said yesterday at the concluding ceremony of Bangladesh Urban Forum.
The urban poor, migrating to cities in search of livelihood, should be made integral part of a healthy urban growth and development, they said making a fifteen-point declaration at the ceremony held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhit called to delegate power to local government for urban poverty reduction and developing slums with housing and civic facilities.
“Government has to ensure zoning and land use plan to achieve the goal of planned urbanisation,” he said.
Rajdhani Unnyan Kartripakkha has to play the role of a planning organisation and stop to function only as a development programme-implementing agency, he added.
Abdul Mannan Khan, state minister for housing and public works, said future of planned urbanisation of Dhaka city is bleak if mindless occupation of rivers and wetlands by real estate developers is not stopped.
The declaration, which came out of 22 sessions on the themes of urbanisation and growth, urban poverty reduction and good governance during the forum, focused on climate-resilient and participatory urban growth with good governance and decentralisation of power.
Nearly 2500 participants including about 200 municipality mayors, several hundred urban poor, NGO and civil society activists, high officials, noted academicians and researchers from home and abroad took part in the forum.
The government along with development partners, research NGOs and civic bodies organised the three-day forum, first of its kind in the country for dialogue and action on the challenges of rapid urbanisation.
Jahangir Kabir Nanak, state minister for local government, Prof Nazrul Islam, noted urban researcher, Abu Alam Md Shahid Khan, secretary to local government division, Md Azmat Ullah Khan, president of Municipal Association of Bangladesh and Stefan Priesner, country director of UNDP, also spoke at the ceremony.