Incorporate environmental issues into city's dev process | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 18, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 18, 2007

Incorporate environmental issues into city's dev process

Speakers tell workshop

Speakers at a workshop have underscored the need for incorporating environmental issues into the city's overall development process to enhance the quality of life of its dwellers.
The workshop titled 'Strategic Environmental Assessment of Dhaka Metropolitan Development Plan' was held at a city hotel on Thursday to disseminate the objectives of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).
The government has proposed the SEA for Dhaka Metropolitan area to shed light to complex interactions between environmental, social, economic and institutional factors linked to urban planning and development.
World Bank is supporting the government in framing the draft SEA, and Rajuk would be the implementing agencies.
Terming the urban planning of Dhaka a 'quagmire' of poor planning process and plans, Dr AK Ghosh, senior environmental specialist, said low level of environmental awareness among sectoral and local planners and very limited efforts to achieve real public good were evident in the urbanisation process.
Stressing on bringing other actors like the utility service providers on board, he further said as Rajuk is active in the development of commercial areas like shopping centres and malls, it very often overlooks the planning guidelines and encroaches on environmentally sensitive areas.
AHM Rezaul Kabir, secretary to environment and forest ministry, laid emphasis on regional consensus on environmental issues and said a strategic plan to this end may act as baseline policy for future planning of the city.
Lauding the timely approach of the government, Zhu Xian, country director of the World Bank, said as urban plans are being formulated for six regions of Dhaka Metropolitan area, it is considered to be an ideal time to undertake an independent assessment about the possible environmental consequences of the implementation of such plans and build corrective measures wherever required.
MA Qasem, director general of LGRD, laid emphasis on coordinated and concerted efforts by all the concerned institutions.
ASM Rashidul Hai, secretary to housing and public works ministry, KAM Haroon, chairman of Rajuk and Nayeema Khatun, project director of SEA also spoke on the occasion.
Debanjan Bandyopadhyay, team leader, made a presentation on draft SEA report.

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