Better service lies in reforms
Splitting the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) area alone will not ensure better civic facilities for the residents unless it is made stronger through legal reforms, observed some local government experts and politicians.
The cabinet yesterday decided to divide the DCC area into two--north and south--claiming this would provide city dwellers with the best public services.
Talking to The Daily Star, Prof Zarina Rahman Khan and Prof Salahuddin M Aminuzzaman of public administration department of Dhaka University stressed for legal reforms to strengthen the corporations.
If there is no other change, only splitting the area will not improve the present situation, said Zarina.
"The water, gas and power supply authorities are not under the city corporation. They should either be brought under the corporation or at least develop a functional relationship so people can be served better," she added.
Prof Aminuzzaman said the DCC is large considering the size of its population, but not its area.
"The fundamental question is the city corporation act itself is incomplete. So there is no guarantee this division will ensure better services," he insisted.
The DU teacher favoured introduction of metropolitan government system for better functioning of the organisation.
Former adviser to a caretaker government Dr Akbar Ali Khan said the scope for introduction of city government has been diminished with the split of the DCC area.
"Introduction of two zones in the capital will significantly increase the administrative expenditure," he told a private television channel.
According to Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon, the fundamental problem lies with the dysfunctional local government bodies.
"If the government doesn't make local government bodies functional, only dividing an area will not bring better results," Menon told The Daily Star.
DCC Mayor Sadek Hossain Khoka has strongly criticised the government decision to split the corporation's area saying the move would hamper its activities.
"The ruling party has realised that they will not win the city corporation polls as people are fed up with the activities of the government like share market scam and failure in controlling price hike of essentials," Khoka told The Daily Star.
In an effort to win the polls, the government has divided the corporation area. But the reality is the ruling party favourite will not win the race even if the authorities divide the area into 10 parts, claimed Khoka, also the chief of Dhaka city unit BNP.
"We had been demanding to bring different government agencies like Wasa and Rajuk under DCC to strengthen our activities, but the government did not pay heed to our demand," he complained.
Kazi Abul Bashar, councillor of Ward-74, said like many other cities in the world, a metropolitan government was necessary in the capital.
Ferdous Ahmed Misti, councillor of Ward-8, said two mayors in the capital is not acceptable, which will really hamper the services of DCC.