The capital city development regulator Rajuk is going to develop a 9,000-acre compact township on the west bank of the river Turag, with a view to conserve flood flow zones and wetlands along the riverbank in the city’s outskirts.
Rajdhani Unnyan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) has also taken a simultaneous initiative to develop another 3,000-acre township styled Waterfront Smart City Dhaka, close to its ongoing Jheelmil residential area in Keraniganj.
To the end of developing both the schemes, Rajuk signed an agreement with Chinese firm China Road and Bridge Corporation, at a city hotel yesterday to carry out a feasibility study.
The Turag township development scheme is aimed at conserving extensive conservable flood flow zones and wetlands along the western bank of the river, said high officials of Rajuk and public works ministry at the signing ceremony.
In the face of unrelenting conversion of flood flow zones and waterbodies -- earmarked as conservable in the master plan -- through earth-filling in and around the capital, the Turag project has been undertaken to protect such ecologically sensitive regions along the river, they said.
Nearly 62 percent of the Turag township area will be conserved as water-based and recreational area and the rest will be developed as residential and commercial, they added.
“Conservation of the flood flow zones and wetlands is the aim of the scheme with well-designed development,” said public works secretary Md Shahid Ullah Khandaker.
The city loses an unknown amount of wetland every day due to poor management, he said. “So, the prime minister has directed for conservation of the Turag flood flow zones and wetlands for a sustainable capital city,” he added.
The Turag township will be within the catchment area of the country’s maiden metro rail service, he said.
Rajuk Chairman Dr Sultan Ahmed said Turag township scheme is a part of the master plan to save four Dhaka rivers, and its feasibility study will include environmental study as well.
“In case of land acquisition for the township schemes, those affected will be rehabilitated with plots and flats,” said the Rajuk chairman. The feasibility study will be completed in the next one year, he said.
The Waterfront Smart City Dhaka in Keraniganj will be developed as an independent planned township by the Dhaka-Mawa highway to meet the increased residential and commercial demands, and prevent the current trend of chaotic housing and commercial development in this locality, said the officials.
Public Works Minister SM Rezaul Karim and the chief engineer of China Road and Bridge Corporation, among others, spoke.