The existing slums in the capital would be replaced by multi-storied buildings to allow the inhabitants to live in a healthy and better condition, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced yesterday.
She made the announcement while laying the foundation of Dasherkandi Sewerage Treatment Plant in a programme at Sonargaon hotel in the capital.
“There would be no slums in the city; rather, 20-storied buildings would be constructed for slum dwellers where they would live by paying rent on daily, weekly or monthly basis,” she said.
“Poor people come to cities for many reasons and live in shanties… we need them every day in our daily work. So, they need a better atmosphere to live,” she said.
Hasina said slum residents will be able to live in flats in exchange for the same amount they now pay for living in slums.
“Benefit of the country's economic progress would not only go to the well-off; poor people should also get the benefit of development,” she said.
The multi-storied housing facilities would be extended to Dhaka's suburban areas to reduce pressure on the capital, she said.
The Dasherkandi Sewerage Treatment Plant is being constructed at a cost of about Tk 332 crore with Chinese government's support as part of Dhaka Wasa's master plan to bring the city under pipeline sewerage system by 2025.
Four more sewage treatment plants will be constructed in Dhaka city to put in place a sustainable and environment-friendly water management and sewage system under the master plan. Two of the sewerage plants would be constructed at Pagla and Uttara with World Bank's support and two others at Rayerbazar and Mirpur with assistance from Asian Development Bank (ADB).
She said the Dasherkandi Sewerage Plant would help giving modern sewerage services to about five million people living in Hatirjeel, Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara, Basundhara, Sangsad Bhaban and adjacent areas.
LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain, senior secretary to Local Government Division Dr Jafor Ahmed Khan, and Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Zhung Zuo also spoke on the occasion while Managing Director of Dhaka Wasa Taqsem A Khan delivered the welcome address.
The prime minister reiterated that box culverts built illegally in the city, destroying the water drainage system and canals, will be demolished if her government comes to power next time. The water channels would be restored and elevated roads would be constructed there for vehicular movement.
Laying importance on regular dredging of rivers and canals, the premier said surrounding rivers are the main sources of water for sewerage plants of Dhaka. The government has already undertaken projects for removing sludge from bottom of the rivers, she said.
Pointing out the steps taken by her government to ensure production and supply of water, the prime minister said development partners now consider Wasa a role model in South Asia in providing water services.
Hasina urged the officials concerned to work sincerely to achieve the SDG Goal 6, which envisages a safe drinking water and sewerage system by 2030.