IT is the second time in less than a week that we have been constrained to comment on the status of the detail area plan for the capital city. This is to reinforce even further our consternation at the prospect of DAP, the document which is the basis of the master plan for the development of Dhaka city, becoming irrelevant given the very abject manner in which the government has chosen to bend its provisions to meet the interests of vested groups. It has been four years already since DAP was approved, and all we have seen are attempts to foil its implementation.
We must put on record our reservation about the justification of a ministerial committee on DAP with the task of final review of a document that has not only been approved but issued as gazette also. As it is, the document is rather flawed given the many compromises that had to be made to cater to the requirement of many different interest groups during its formulation, and could do without motivated tinkering.
DAP is a part of a three tier plan package which is complemented by other two tiers, viz. Structure Plan and Urban Area Plan which were prepared during 1992-1995. And any alteration without consultations with the experts who framed DAP might leave a gaping hole in it and ultimately cause the collapse of the other two segments of the Dhaka Metropolitan Development Plan. And this is exactly what might happen if the order of the housing and works minister, who is also the head of the ministerial committee on DAP, almost unilaterally endorsing filling up of 8000 acres of flood flow zones and farm land on 25 August, is not rescinded.