12:00 AM, November 26, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 26, 2008

DAP deviates from master plan

Say urban planners, environmentalists

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Staff Correspondent

Architects, planners and environmentalists at a press conference yesterday said the final draft of Detailed Area Plan (DAP) of Dhaka metropolitan city has deviated from the original Dhaka Metropolitan Development Plan (DMDP), also known as master plan.
They also pointed out many inconsistencies between DAP and the structural and urban area plans, the two components of DMDP, which was initiated in 1992 by Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk).
They demanded immediate steps to form a technical committee comprising urban planners to rectify the flaws and anomalies in the DAP before its finalisation.
If the DAP is not changed, it will go in favour of land grabbers filling up water bodies and occupying open spaces, they added.
Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP), Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa), Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela) and Centre for Urban Studies (CUS) jointly organised the press conference at BIP auditorium.
There are may areas in the structural plan of DMDP, which are identified as flood flow zones, but DAP has termed them housing project development area, said Syeda Rizwana Hasan, director (programmes) of Bela.
Such identification is inconsistent with the Wetland Protection Act 2000, she said.
Location and amount of flood retention areas specified in DMDP Drainage Working paper has also been changed, said architect Iqbal Habib, joint secretary of Bapa, who presented a written speech.
"The changes of location 9 and location 19 (eastern fringe area) in the report is clearly visible," he added.
The amount of open space designated in the proposed plan is very little, which requires further attention from the authority, he said.
Demarcation of existing open spaces and water bodies to be conserved are ignored which is very urgent to protect them from encroachment, Habib said.
He also said the draft final plan even did not consider the transportation network.
Bapa President Prof Muzaffer Ahmad said such a DAP would not be able to improve the quality of life of city dwellers.
Dr Sarwar Jahan, president of BIP, Prof Nurul Islam Nazem, Dr Israt Islam and architect Firoz Uddin also spoke at the press conference.
The speakers also called on the authorities to ensure effective public consultation on DAP so that people's aspirations are reflected in the plan.

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