Dhaka's population growth fastest among South Asian cities
The population of Dhaka city has been growing at a pace of almost four percent annually, the fastest among the South Asian cities, as all the major manufacturing industries are concentrating here, attracting hordes of migrants, speakers said at a workshop on urban policy yesterday.
In the last decade, 15 lakh people added to the Dhaka city population, they said. Currently the capital city's population stands at 1.5 crore.
â€œAll the business facilities are available only here, which causes mushrooming of the manufacturing industries in and around the capital,â€ said Prof MA Taslim in his paper, "Industrial Growth and Location Dynamics".
While preparing the urban strategy plans, the government should look into the matter and take steps to decentralise business facilities, he told the workshop, "Bangladesh Urban Dynamics: Recent Findings and Trend Analysis", organised by Power and Participation Research (PPRC) at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel.
In his keynote paper, Hossain Zillur Rahman, executive chairman of the PPRC, said despite the rapid growth of Dhaka city, the government was yet to make any urban development strategy. Now it is time to increase focus on urban policy for urbanisation in a holistic and integrated way, he said.
Environment Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud said the successive governments could not make any long term plans for Dhaka city. â€œNow is the time to make proper planning projecting the size of the growing population.â€
Prof Wahiduddin Mahmud, former adviser to a caretaker government, reasoned that Dhaka city had ranked as the least liveable city, as it was the only mega metropolitan city of a country with a poor economy.
Modern and proper plans have been designed for Dhaka city several times since the country's inception, said eminent urban expert Prof Nazrul Islam. â€œBut here we have so many powerful authorities which create chaos while they implement any good plans.â€
Akhter Mahmud, a professor at Jahangirnagar University, said the government was going to construct the elevated express way spending nearly Tk 8,000 crore which would serve only eight percent of the private transport users in the capital.