Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Annisul Huq yesterday asked grabbers to free city footpaths by March 1.
Footpaths are meant for pedestrians' movement, not for doing business, he said at a closing programme at DNCC zonal office in the capital's Mirpur of a seven-day special cleaning drive across Dhaka north.
“We are going to reclaim all the illegally occupied footpaths by April 1,” he said, adding that shop owners since then would not be allowed to occupy a single inch of the public places anymore.
He called upon the businesses and companies to remove commercial signs and graffiti from the flyovers and walls in public places by the end of this month and builders to free footpaths of construction materials by April.
“Otherwise, face legal actions.”
The mayor gave similar instructions to school, college, university and coaching centre authorities.
“Help me fulfil pledges I have made to the prime minister, as she in a way conferred the mayoral position on me with her party support,” Annisul said.
Meanwhile, Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Mohammad Sayeed Khokon upon unveiling a sculpture in Paribagh said his relentless attempts to free city footpaths of illegal occupations would not succeed without police's cooperation.
Grabbers come back again and again and occupy footpaths with the connivance of a section of police, he said.
As the week-long cleaning drive ended yesterday, Annisul said that except some internal lanes, all major roads in Dhaka north were clean now following the work of nearly 12,000 participants, including volunteers, students, NGO workers, Bangladesh National Cadet Corps members and regular city corporation cleaners.
He called upon city dwellers, particularly shopkeepers, not to throw away solid waste here and there. Instead, put those in a container and dispose through the collection chain, he said.
Construction of 72 secondary waste transfer stations across the north city will be completed in a couple of months, which will facilitate a more organised waste management, he pointed out.
The drive to clean the city's north part formally began on February 14. Such drives will be organised in every three months.
DNCC with nine million populations in 36 wards generates 3,000 tonnes of solid waste every day, said officials. There are more than 3,000 cleaners, including 2,742 employed on regular basis for cleaning the area.