Helemul Alam

Having iftar together to beat loneliness

Seventy-five-year-old Hosne Ara, a former government employee, was talking to one of her close relatives in a video call, sitting on a chair at Probin Nibash, an old-age home. A box full of chickpeas was kept next to her as the time for iftar approached.

15h ago

Iftar at an orphanage: Ramadan made special for the children

It was a warm Wednesday evening, and the clock struck 5:15pm at the Sir Salimullah Muslim Orphanage located in Dhaka’s Azimpur. A small group of orphaned children gathered in a room of the Haji Rafique Bhaban, preparing to break their day-long fast with a mixture of iftar items called Muri Makha.

1d ago

Free iftar at High Court Mazar Mosque

For Muslims, Ramadan is about restraint, austerity and fostering social cohesion and brotherhood among all, irrespective of wealth.

2d ago

Breaking fast while catching a train

Kaspia, a sixty-year-old woman, sat under a tree on a bench next to the platform at Kamalapur Railway Station in Dhaka, waiting for her son to return with iftar items. She had never broken her fast in a railway station before, but keeping the traffic situation in mind, she had no choice but to come early as she had to catch a return train from Dhaka shortly after iftar.

3d ago

42 Risky Buildings: Rajuk evacuation move going nowhere

It appears the evacuation notice handed out to 41 risky buildings by the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) on March 13 was not well-thought-out.

4d ago

Breaking fast with Chawkbazar delicacies

Rabin Bhuiyan, a 27-year-old resident of Narayanganj, arrived at the Chawkbazar iftar market around 11:00am to purchase traditional iftar items. However, the shops of the makeshift market were not set up at that time. He performed juma prayers at the ancient Chawkbazar Shahi Jame Masjid next to the bazaar with his younger brother Miraz Hossain before making their purchases.

6d ago

Siddikbazar Blast: Building needs to be retrofitted before use

The building that was damaged by an explosion in the capital’s Siddikbazar should not be used before it is retrofitted, as the structure is currently unsafe, suggested a probe committee of Rajuk.

2w ago

DNCC to conduct research work

Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) is planning to conduct research from April to May to make anti-mosquito drives more effective. DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam took the decision after a recent visit to the US.

2w ago

Rajuk to move to raze 42 risky buildings

The Rajdhani Unnyan Katripakkha (Rajuk) will take steps to demolish 42 buildings in Dhaka, Gazipur, and Narayanganj within a short time, as these structures are in precarious conditions and are at risk of collapsing and causing casualties.

2w ago

A massive risk for residents

Building owners who put their basements up for commercial use, violating the approved plans, not only contribute to reduced parking spaces but also severe risks of accident.

2w ago

Monitor septic tank, ventilation

A lack of maintenance of septic tanks and buildings, coupled with blocked ventilation ways are putting the capital’s buildings at huge risk of explosion. This newspaper yesterday reached out to multiple urban planning experts following the Gulistan explosion, who all echoed the same.

3w ago

For 2 years, deprived of playgrounds

It was a Tuesday afternoon. Namima Binte Salma and Afraaz Zuhain Khan, two preschool children, were playing in a park at Lalmatia block-D. They appeared cheerful as they finally had the opportunity to take a breather out in the open, after a long time.

Revised Building Code: No dedicated body yet to enforce

The government is yet to form an authority dedicated to enforce the revised Bangladesh National Building Code, the gazette of which was issued two years ago.

Addressing Dhaka’s parking chaos: Lone draft policy still in limbo

The lack of designated parking spaces for commercial buildings, markets, and city buses has led to vehicles being parked on the roads, causing severe gridlocks and huge loss of productivity

In Dhaka, footpaths not for pedestrians only

It’s a 10-minute walk from Farmgate’s Ananda Cinema Hall to the Panthapath intersection through Green Road. However, it takes 20 minutes to cross this 700-metre road, thanks to illegal occupants of the footpath

‘No eviction without rehabilitation’

“We have many problems. We live with waterlogging and a lack of pure drinking water. But we never complain. This place to live is all we have. Where will we go if we are evicted?” asked Meghla, a 30-year-old cleaner from the Telegu community who lives in Outfall Colony-14 of Jatrabari’s Dhalpur.

How vulnerable are our buildings to a major quake?

"It is very important to construct earthquake-resilient buildings and for this, all buildings of Dhaka city will have to be tracked."

Bahadur Shah Park now ‘Café Bahadur’

In a shocking development, Dhaka South City Corporation has allowed a private entity to construct a food court at the historic Bahadur Shah Park -- much to the dismay of locals and eminent citizens.

Nightmare on Airport Road

Dhaka dwellers and commuters suffered immensely yesterday as traffic came to a standstill on the Airport Road. Thousands were stuck for hours on end and many missed appointments, meetings and even flights.

AI-Run Traffic Signal: Thoughtless, likely to fail

After spending Tk 119 crore over 15 years on traffic lights that came to nought, Dhaka South City Corporation has moved to install an artificial intelligence-driven signalling system which experts fear is destined to fail.

Explain how 30,000 docs went missing from servers

The High Court yesterday asked the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha to explain the disappearances of around 30,000 documents from Rajuk servers.

Highest dengue deaths last year

At least 281 people succumbed to dengue last year, while 62,382 patients were hospitalised, the highest deaths and second-highest cases ever recorded in the country.

Metro Rail: Huge crowd for weekend ride

Mohammad Sohel, an employee at a firm, did not get metro tickets after waiting in a long queue for around three hours at Agargaon Station yesterday.

Pay for pets!

Dhaka South City Corporation has recently imposed an annual tax of Tk 500 per pet dog and Tk 1,000 for horses and deer -- drawing huge flak from animal rights activists and pet owners.

Peaceful BNP rally brings sigh of relief

Allaying public fears of violence, the BNP yesterday held its Dhaka rally peacefully and unveiled a 10-point demand to “restore democracy”.

Dengue cases ease up at last

As the number of dengue cases has started to reduce since mid-November, experts urged the city corporations to take comprehensive plans to control Aedes mosquitoes throughout the year.

Hospitalised dengue patients near 50k

The number of dengue patients hospitalised across the country this year is almost 50,000, the second time this has happened in Bangladesh. 

182 and counting

At least five dengue patients died while 820 others were admitted to different hospitals across the country in 24 hours until yesterday morning.

Curbing dengue: Laxity at the beginning led to outbreak

The authorities' failure to take proper measures early this year has led to the deadly dengue outbreak and the hot and humid weather only made matters worse, experts say.

Dengue rages in 60 dists

The dengue situation in the country is alarming as the mosquito-borne virus has already spread to 60 districts.

Dengue menace: 21,932 cases, 86 deaths make October deadliest

October has become the deadliest month in terms of dengue fatalities. Of the 148 dengue related deaths this year, 86 were recorded in last month alone. 

Dengue outbreak: Cyclone may prolong the sufferings

The surge in dengue cases in the country could continue longer than expected because of the rain.

Dengue cases cross 28,000, 2nd highest since 2000

Dengue has still not loosened its grip on the country, as infections keep piling up. Cases this year reached 28,698 yesterday, the second highest since 2000, when the country witnessed the first-ever outbreak.

900 dengue cases logged in a day

At least 10,846 dengue patients were admitted to hospitals across the country in only 17 days this month, up from 9,911 in the entire month of September.

Rising dengue cases call for urgent action

With the number of dengue cases soaring every day across the country, hospitals especially those in the capital are struggling to deal with the patients, health officials say while experts suggest immediate steps to control Aedes mosquitoes.

‘Independent commission crucial’

An independent commission is essential to protect all heritage sites, as authorities concerned are not working properly, said Taimur Islam, chief executive of the conservation organisation Urban Study Group.

Dengue claims 8 lives in a day

Eight dengue patients died, while 765 were admitted to hospitals across the country yesterday.

Tk 898cr project okayed to revive 4 Dhaka canals

The government has approved a project to revive four canals of  Dhaka to reduce the capital’s waterlogging woes.

Food court in Bahadur Shah Park!

Surrounded by greenery on  all sides, Bahadur Shah Park stands proud with its rich history and  enriched architectural features at Old Dhaka’s Laxmibazar.

A ticking time bomb?

Life was never easy for 40-year-old Hosne Ara. Amid constant struggles, the 40-year-old car showroom cleaner worked hard and supported her family to the best of her ability.

Dengue situation keeps getting worse

Just the first three days of October, till Monday, saw six people die from dengue and 1,728 being hospitalised across the country. In September alone, 34 died and 9,911 were admitted to hospitals.

The fight to save their field

For decades, the residents of Mirpur-11 have made themselves well-acquainted with the only open space they have, the one located on Paris Road. Many grew up playing there every day after school, and many made lifelong friends and memories after spending hours on end in the field.

The dangerous rise of dengue

Twenty-four dengue patients have died so far in the country, of whom, 21 died in the last eight months.

Battery-run Rickshaws: Danger lurks in the alleys

Shahida Quader, a resident of Khilgaon area, is waiting for an operation on her ankle, as it didn’t heal after two months of treatment.

Empty promises, demolished heritage

Earlier this year, this newspaper ran a report on how Dhaka city’s two ancient structures -- Boro Katra and Chhoto Katra -- were at the verge of extinction due to rampant encroachment in absence of government measures to preserve them.

New Detailed Area Plan For Dhaka: Potentials there, weaknesses too

The recently approved Detailed Area Plan (DAP) promises a better Dhaka by solving perennial problems of the capital, but it has legalised some residential areas developed in conservable flood-flow zones over the years, experts say.

‘City government’will be helpful for DAP implementation

The latest Detailed Area Plan for the capital has many new components like density mapping, school zoning and transport-oriented development, but its outcome will depend on proper implementation.

Red zones off-limits to hawkers

After repeatedly failing to prevent hawkers from taking over the capital’s roads, Dhaka South City Corporation is set to introduce a new system, in a bid to reduce traffic congestion.

September 3, 2022
September 3, 2022

Area-wise schooling for a better Dhaka

In the new Detailed Area Plan (DAP), the government has proposed a concept that may very well usher in a liveable and sustainable Dhaka city, one free of traffic jams: “school districts”.

September 1, 2022
September 1, 2022

Dengue cases double between July, Aug

August witnessed 3,551 dengue cases, more than double the number recorded in July. This indicates that the dengue situation is further deteriorating.

August 31, 2022
August 31, 2022

Monsoon doubles mosquito trouble

Dhaka residents may witness a bigger wave of dengue in the coming days, as the population of Aedes mosquitoes in monsoon is over double that of the previous season.

August 28, 2022
August 28, 2022

Is Dhaka 400 or 1500 years old?

Dhaka is the capital that is ever-growing within its confines, with its colours, chaos and hustle. It has always been a bit difficult to trace the origin of this madness of a city, and the exact time it came to be. 

August 27, 2022
August 27, 2022

Rajuk’s grand plan to ease commute

The waterbodies of Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara and Hatirjheel are set for a transformation.

August 26, 2022
August 26, 2022

Still no robust policy to control Aedes mosquitoes

Three years have passed since the country witnessed over one lakh dengue patients in a year.

August 14, 2022
August 14, 2022

Want to buy a car? It’s only Tk 5,000!

Seized vehicles that are used for different crimes or have no valid documents mostly end up in auctions as scrap.

August 12, 2022
August 12, 2022

Water Treatment Plant: Wasa project not paying enough dividends

Three years ago, Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Dhaka Wasa) inaugurated the Padma-Jashaldia water-treatment plant to bring treated water of Padma to Dhaka.

August 9, 2022
August 9, 2022

No room for heritage

It seems like Dhaka is on its way to remove all traces of its glorious past as another heritage building is on the brink of destruction, ready to be lost like many other historical structures of the city.

August 6, 2022
August 6, 2022

Modernisation of Sufia Kamal National Public Library: The end of an era

What many would call the end to an era, the 67-year-old Sufia Kamal National Public Library has been demolished as part of a modernisation project.