Utility services must be brought under KCC, says Mayor

Khulna city Mayor Shaikh Tayebur Rahman talks with Kausar Islam Ayon of

"The development of Khulna city is not going on in a planned way,” admitted Mayor Shaikh Tayebur Rahman of Khulna City Corporation (KCC). He said buildings and other infrastructures were growing in a chaotic manner and this would finally create insoluble problems for the city.

He feared that if this unplanned development goes on the city would become too congested and unsuitable for living within the next decade.

“There are three rivers around the city but many parts of it experience water logging after a little rain. I admit this is my failure,” said Rahman.

He, however, pointed out some obstacles and limitations that keep the hands of the corporation tied and lead to a marked degeneration of civic facilities in the city. He believes Khulna Development Authority (KDA) should be placed under the planning cell of KCC.

He said other utility services like water supply, sewerage service, electricity supply etc. and even traffic management should be placed under KCC's authority. In other words, he demanded expansion of the KCC's sphere of activities and full autonomy for it.

“The mayors of all the six cities agreed on the point that without bringing city development authority and utility services under the control of the corporations, no breakthrough can be effected in this area,” observed Rahman.

He admitted that a city corporation does not have the wherewithal to control or supervise the law enforcing system.

“If these requirements are fulfilled only then can we plan and develop our city in an organised way,” said Rahman. He maintained that a city couldn't attain its objectives depending solely on the central government.

About the development of the KCC, the mayor said that they are facing difficulties with budgets.

He pointed out that it takes longer than the expected time for a budget for any project to be approved.

“A project proposal has to obtain approval from several departments of the government. When a project finally gets the nod after being scrutinised in the local government and rural development ministry, Planning Commission, pre-ECNEC and ECNEC, valuable time is wasted and it needs a readjustment,” the mayor said.

About the once rich industrial belt in the Khulna division which is now beset with many problems, the mayor said the belt could still be revived and the golden days brought back with some need-based steps.

“The policy makers should make timely policies to encourage more investment in this area with a huge potential. Availability of raw materials, low cost labour and port facility should be utilised properly.” The mayor urged the government to act quickly in this regard.

About the achievements of his city he said he has succeeded in ensuring security and other fundamental rights of all the citizens.

“It was my initiative to start a mobile hospital for the slum dwellers in the city. There are primary health care centres in every word. The percentage of literacy has improved a lot,” the mayor claimed.

He said to ensure security in the city they have indirectly helped the people to form community police and have introduced the registration system for in-coming people with the Khulna Metropolitan Police.

“The citizens can now sleep peacefully without fear,” the mayor observed.

He said during his tenure he has established 18 Eidgahs, a graveyard, and some truck stands. “We have built up and renovated many mosques and temples in the city,” added the mayor.

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