Category Archives: Miscellaneous Issues of Dhaka City

Dhaka Slum People Developed Covid-19 Immunity?

Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) and icddr,b have been researching the pandemic COVID-19 since it has been introduced to Bangladesh. Recently, they have published a news that has risen many question. They find that the rate of Covid-19 antibody prevalence among slum people was a whopping 74%. The more astonishing news is this rate is more than the people who are not living in slums.

From the very start, every authority has been concerned about slum dwellers that slum people would be the most vulnerable because of COVID, both economically and physically. There is no doubt that pandemic and the resultant lockdown has devastated their source of livelihood. There home is encroached with high density, lack of proper sanitation, nutrition as well as health facilities would be the main reason to save them from COVID. However, surprisingly, their body has developed antibody.

The IEDCR-icddr,b study tested 553 symptomatic and 817 asymptomatic patients with IgG and IgM in 3,227 households in the capital. Besides, 96 symptomatic and 314 asymptomatic slum people were tested with the two types of antibodies in 960 households. The IgM and IgG are the most useful for assessing antibody response, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the US.

The reason could be multiple. AAt the very beginning, they were sent to lock down. Very few lived in Dhaka. We know rate of contamination  outside Dhaka was little at that time and antibody can be lived in a body for three months. So, the survey time also matters. On the other hand, the hard working slum people may have higher rate of antibody than exercise less city people. Rate of obese or high weighted people are also more in city dwellers. Obese people have low immunity. The life style matters greatly in this case. Vitamin D is main factor for raising antibody. But, city people living in high rising building has very less opportunity to enjoy sunlight which is the main source of Vitamin D. However, nutrition is a great factor for increasing antibody. In this case, city dwellers beat slum people. Very few slum dwellers are able to have necessary calorie to build their health. Even the quality of food they consume has been questioned many times. There were many research that indicated that more than 50% slum dwellers are prone to Jaundice. As a result, the new findings have raised so many questions. IEDCR and icddr,b stated that they need to study the sample more to find exact scenario.

Air Pollution of Dhaka and Risk of Corona Virus

The world is now facing the ultimate threat of new pandemic COVID-19, Corona virus. Each day  is passing and bringing the tragic death news from all over the world. This virus can be the reason of destruction of civilization from a place.  Pandemic is just a term, meaning worldwide distributed. WHO has confirmed Corona as pandemic which has origin from China, but it has been spread all over the world and struck many countries really hard. Bangladesh has confirmed as well that the people could not be able to escape from this virus too.

This is not first time, Bangladesh is dealing with epidemic. There was a time when Cholera had killed large number of people from village to village. But Corona is more dangerous because it is more contagious ( a single person can spread among 2.6 people) and the symptoms are not identified at early stage. However, when people learn they are infected, it may be too late for some people, specially for elderly and people with respiratory problems. Here comes the more concerned issue for Bangladesh or we can say for Dhaka people as air pollution in Dhaka has caused respiratory problems for great number of people. This year multiple days air quality has been identified as hazardous and number of people with respiratory problems are increasing day by day. Experts are really concerned that Corona can bring extreme causality. The city life has been dependent on a life style which is creating more pollution and the authority is also unable to address the problem. Our urban design, daily activity and relation between them can make us more susceptible to high health risk for Corona. We may breath in hazardous air for several days but this time it may bring hazardous impact which we have not expected at all.

Coronavirus_ As experts warn air pollution can elevate health risks, should Dhaka worry_ The Daily Star

অবৈধ ভবন নিয়ে রাজউকের নতুন সুপারিশ

ঢাকা নগরীর গড়ে উঠার ইতিহাস অনেক পুরানো। ধীরে ধীরে উন্নয়নের পথ ধরে চলার সাথে গড়ে উঠেছে অনেক দালান। সঠিক নিয়ম কানুন মেনে গড়ে উঠার জন্য রাজউক কাজ করে চলছে। কিন্তু এদের সবগুলো সেই নিয়ম মেনে নির্মিত নয়। এক্ষেত্রে সেই ভবন অপসারণ করার আদেশ রয়েছে। কিন্তু এই নিয়ম বহির্ভূত দালেন সংখ্যা অনেক বেশী হবার জন্য জরিমানা দিয়ে ভবন পুনরায় নিয়ম মেনে নির্মান করার সুপারিশ করা হচ্ছে। বিশদ পরিকল্পনা (DAP) এর আওতায় এই প্রস্তাব আসে। যেখানে নিয়ম ভঙ্গের মাত্রা বিবেচনা করে জরিমানা আরোপ করা ও এরপর প্রয়োজনীয় কাঠামোগত পরিবর্তন করে বৈধতা আনা যাবে। এক্ষেত্রে নির্মান ব্যত্যয় কে প্রাধান্য দেয়া হয়েছে এবং ভবনগুলোকে তিনটি ভাগে ভাগ করা হবে।

কিন্তু সরকারি জমি, নাগরিকের সুবিধার জন্য নির্ধারিত স্থান ও জলাশয় ভরাট করে বানানো দালানকে এই সুবিধার আওতায় আনা হবে না। এমনকি সিভিল এভিয়েশনের উচ্চতা সীমা নির্দিষ্ট জায়গায় যেভেবে দেয়া রয়েছে তা মেনে না বানানো দালানকেও বৈধতা দেয়া হবে না। রাজউকের এই প্রস্তাবনা সঠিক ভাবে বাস্তবায়িত হলে তা নগরকে রূপ দিতে অনেক গুরুত্বপূর্র্ণ ভূমিকা রাখবে। কিন্তু পূর্ববর্তী অভিজ্ঞতা অনুযায়ী অনেক ক্ষেত্রেই নিয়ম ফাঁকি দিয়ে গড়ে উঠেছে দালান।ভবিষ্যতে এই সুপারিশ শক্ত হাতে বাস্তবায়িত করা একটি চ্যালেঞ্জ। যেহেতু সেই দালান গুলোকেই আবার ঠিক করার প্রক্রিয়ায় এই নতুন সুপারিশ, পুনরায় কর্তৃপক্ষকে ফাঁকি দিয়ে এই ভবন গুলো থেকে গেলে সুপারিশের মূল উদ্দেশ্য পূরণ হবে না। 

অবৈধ ভবন বৈধ করতে রাজউকে জরিমানার সুপারিশ

 

Affordable Homes for All

Affordable housing is prior right to every citizen. “Affordable” indeed is right word to address current problem. We know how maximum citizens are fighting to have one affordable house. The Daily Star arranged a round table discussion focusing on this issue bringing different tiers of responsible people connected with this issue. FR Khan, Managing Director, bti; DR Ishrat Islam, Professor, Department of urban and regional planning, BUET; DR MD Akter Mahmud, Vice President, Bangladesh Institute of Planners; Mominul Islam, Managing Director & CEO IPDC Finance Ltd; Arif Khan, CEO & MD, IDLC Finance; Syed Mahbubur Rahman, Chairman, ABB, and CEO & MD, Dhaka Bank; Khawaja Shahriar, MD, LankaBangla Finance; Rahel Ahmed, CEO & MD, Prime Bank; Selim RF Hussain, CEO & MD, BRAC Bank;Tanveerul Haque Probal, Managing Director, Building for Future and Former President, REHAB; Hosneara Parvin, General Manager, Business Development, Sheltech; Rejbeen Ahsan, GM, Bproperty were presented on the discussion.

Each participants has conveyed their opinion. Comprehensive policy for housing is the first step. It is certain that contribution of government is playing a huge role. Tax incentive for first time buyers, registration cost, digitization of land records have to planned accordingly. Moreover, as land value is playing great role, government must take proper initiatives. Our problem can be solved by satellite town. However, inappropriate policy and measurements, discontinuities with facilities and communication affect this solution. And last but not least, financing authority plays major role. Without favorable housing loan people will be hardly interested and capable.

Following link has detail discussion.

 Affordable homes for all _ The Daily Star

Why People in Dhaka Do Not Walk

It is high time; people of Dhaka city seek for comfortable travel pattern for daily activities. Recent measurements includes, banning rickshaw from three important roads of the city. Well, there are advantages of this decision but it is not easier for those people who are habituated on this travel behavior. Significant number of people use rickshaw for short distance travel. Question may arise why people would bear unnecessary travel cost when that travel can easily be done through walking, free of cost. Even, walking has good health advantage and many people do have habit of walking in morning or evening, yet they use rickshaw for daily activities.

The first reason is people do not have walking environment. This not only includes footpath being occupied by hawkers. Actually, it is quite common in Dhaka that footpaths are blocked by temporary or permanent hawkers, tea s talls, restaurant stove or grill, construction material and used as parking for cycle and motorcycle. Another concerning issue is footpaths are not connected properly. In many areas, access road to residential unit are used as passing road for outsider vehicle. Such as, to avoid traffic jam of Green road many people use Free School Street. These narrow roads which are hardly 6 feet wide mostly serve residential unit. Even, many residential buildings are giving their garage on hire to outsider for CNG, car, pick-up truck and so on. As these heavy vehicles along with private cars are roaming around in front of people’s building, they hardly feel safe for their children to walk. Because most of the time, motorized vehicle causes street accident and also children are not careful all the time. Also, parents are concerned about environment of walking. There are reports of harassment, hijacking, accidents due to reckless driving of motorized vehicle upon footpath and so on. All these discourages city dwellers walking, specially guardians to allow children walk if they have capacity to support alternative mode; car, rickshaw, motorcycle. As a result, whole generation is growing the habit to avoid walk.

In Dhaka, people even walk regularly for health purpose in different open spaces, parks and lakes. Environment and aesthetic view always contributes to explore city by walking. Our country has failed in many ways to resolve this issue. Still, many people are using footpath as public toilet space, garbage dumping zone and kiosk of cigarette and betel. There are many cases where people got hurt as garbage or heavy objects have been thrown from up above. Water logging also discourages people to walk.

Even after all these issues, significant number of people are walking as they have no other choice. It would be hard to find people who walks with satisfaction from their heart. Not all the areas of Dhaka have same scenario. Authority has kept beautiful example for creating pedestrian friendly spaces. However, it is a long way to go  for making Dhaka pedestrian friendly.

Journal / Seminar Paper

  • Air Pollution Aspects of Dhaka City – Author: Ahmmed, K. M. Tanvir and Begum, D. A

Abstract

This study is focused on the measurement of air pollution levels at traffic congestion and brick field. Indoor air pollution levels near to different types of cooker and in dwelling rooms have also assessed. It has been revealed that pollution level at traffic congestions has considerably improved due to large scale introduction of CNG vehicles in Dhaka city. Indoor pollution level assessment data show that cooks of Dhaka city are exposed to high concentration of CO, NO x and SOx. Some recommendations for air pollution control in Dhaka city are also incorporated in the paper.

Air Pollution Aspects of Dhaka City – Author: Ahmmed, K. M. Tanvir and Begum, D. A

  • Hidden Morphological Order in an Organic City – Author: Farida Nilufar

Abstract

Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, has grown from a small trading town to a metropolitan city. With the passage of time an organic morphological pattern has been spontaneously developing here without any rigid planning proposal. However, the spatial structure of organic cities like Dhaka is generally developed spontaneously in line with inhabitants’ aspirations. Within the apparent spatial disorder of the ‘natural city’, people must have a territorial need for sense of a place. Indeed, the mohallas, the historic neighborhoods in old Dhaka, had a territorial base, which revealed a social segregation symbolized by geographical definition. It is crucial to identify the essential components of present urban morphology in order to sustain the urban condition necessary for the continuation of our cultural milieu amid rapid urban transformation. This paper analyses the visible form of Dhaka to identify its different territorial units that have distinct social as well as spatial identity in the image of its inhabitants. Within the apparent morphological disorder in an organic city, Dhaka, a ‘tree’ like mental organization exists in cognitive image of inhabitants. This paper gives an evidence of a community at local level in Dhaka defined by the ‘territorial boundary’. These reflect inhabitants’ particular need for identity and sense of a place within the organic city .

For more details please follow the link below:

Hidden Morphological Order in an Organic City – Author: Farida Nilufar

  • Investigating the prospect of introducing traffic management measures in Dhaka city – Author: T. Khan, M.S. Hoque & A.S. Huq

Abstract

Traffic management is a vital tool for improving the roadway capacity. This study is intended to explore the prospect of introducing three most common traffic supply control management measures Tidal Flow, One-Way Operation and Signal Coordination in Dhaka city. The study is undertaken for Dhanmondi R/A bounded by Mirpur road, Satmosjid road, Dhanmondi Road# 2 and Road# 27. Volume surveys are conducted at the two end points with Mirpur road to find out the distinctive flow imbalance during the determined peak hour in the morning. The resulting directional flows are found to be 21%, 79% and 46%, 54% respectively leading to absence of tidal flow. Implementation requirements of other two regulations are also investigated. The pre-requisites are not met and the underlying reasons behind this failure are found in this study as the inherent weakness in the planning of road network and the consequent mixed type of land-use pattern.

For more details please follow the link below:

Investigating the prospect of introducing traffic management measures in Dhaka city – Author: T. Khan, M.S. Hoque & A.S. Huq

  • Land use change prediction in Dhaka city using GIS aided Markov chain modeling – Author:Md. Shahidul Islam, Raquib Ahmed

Abstract

The main objective of this paper is to evaluate the land use change in Dhaka City based on the need and purpose to predict future scenario of Dhaka City. Dhaka being a mega city has been challenged by numerous difficulties like unplanned urbanization, traffic congestion, water logging etc. Land use classification and analysis is performed using a GIS and Remote sensing technique, and GIS aided ‘Markov Cellular Automata’ technique is used to model the land use change. Based on the past trend (from 1991 to 2008) of land use changes, the future land use map of Dhaka city for the year of 2020 and 2050 has been generated. And collected maps and images were sorted and classified for analysis and interpretation. Landsat TM image of 1991 and Google image of 2008 were employed in this study to produce land use classification based on Anderson modified version method. IDRISI, Land Change Modeler (LCM) was used to analyze the land use/cover changes between various classes during the period 1991-2008. It is assumed that this kind of research will contribute to shaping the urban form of the city in a planned manner. So, that Dhaka can be a much more livable and planned city in near future.

For more details please follow the link below:

Land use change prediction in Dhaka city using GIS aided Markov chain modeling – Author:Md. Shahidul Islam, Raquib Ahmed

  • Morphological Change of Dhaka City Over a Period of 55 Years: A Case Study of Two Wards – Author: Bayes ahmed,Muhammad Rakibul Hasan Raj, Dr. K. M. Maniruzzaman

Abstract

Dhaka City has undergone radical changes in its physical form, not only by territorial expansion, but also through internal physical transformations over the last decades. These have created entirely new kinds of fabric. With these changes, the elements of urban form have changed. Plots and open spaces have been transformed into building areas, open squares into car parks, low land and water bodies into reclaimed built-up lands etc. This research has its general interest in the morphologic change of Dhaka City. It focuses on the spatial dynamics of urban growth of Dhaka over the last 55 years from 1952-2007. In the research, the transformation of urban form has been examined through space syntax. The aim behind using this technique is to describe aspects of relationships between the morphological structure of man-made environments and social structures and events. To conduct this research, Wards 49 and 72 of Dhaka City Corporation were selected as the study areas, of which Ward 72 is an indigenous and Ward 49 is a planned type of settlement. Being a planned residential area, the syntactic measures from this morphological analysis are showing quite unchanged and high values in all phases for Ward 49 and the physical characteristics of Ward 72 (Old Dhaka) still represent the past. The syntactic values are found to be higher for Ward 72 and than Ward 49. Higher values indicate that the street network is highly connective among each other. Time affects differently the layout of cities and the architecture of buildings. Of the many human creations, street systems are among the most resistant to change. This has been emphasized in this study, thereby facilitating the comparison of urban layouts across space and time. The interpretation of history in the light of quantitative accounts, as demonstrated in this study, will be of value to urban planners and urban designers
for the future planning of modern Dhaka City.

For more details please follow the link below:

Morphological Change of Dhaka City Over a Period of 55 Years: A Case Study of Two Wards – Author: Bayes ahmed,Muhammad Rakibul Hasan Raj, Dr. K. M. Maniruzzaman

  • PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT OF DHAKA – A STORY OF 400 YEARS – Author: AHSANUL KABIR1 AND BRUNO PAROLIN

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of urban structure and the planning history of Dhaka. Human settlement in Dhaka can be traced back as far as the 12th century, but it was the Mughals who for strategic reasons established a town in the early seventeenth century. Since then the city has experienced an adventurous path under different rulers and has faced multifaceted challenges.
Starting as a military outpost, Dhaka has served as a business centre, trading hub, regional capital, provincial capital and now as the primate city of a nation with 16million inhabitants. While travelling through a political rollercoaster, the planning history of Dhaka is characterised by a variety of philosophical views all of which have left a spatial imprint on this historical city. The paper traces these different planning trajectories, examines their spatial impact and focuses on the current situation of Dhaka – one characterized by high densities and overcrowding, environmental degradation, severe traffic congestion and haphazard planning. Our analysis has a focus on growth and changes in urban structure over time. It particularly emphasises the spatial distribution of economic activities in Dhaka, and investigates the forces behind it. We also examine the role of different plans in accounting for the current form of the city. Geographical limitations appear to play a major role in the current urban pattern of Dhaka. There is wide heterogeneity in its urban form as different parts of Dhaka were developed over different centuries for different purposes. We investigate the harmony amongst different parts of the city to reveal dynamics among land uses and to present some guidelines for sustainable urban growth.

For more details please follow the link below:

PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT OF DHAKA – A STORY OF 400 YEARS – Author: AHSANUL KABIR1 AND BRUNO PAROLIN

  • Possible Causes & Solutions of Traffic Jam and Their Impact on the Economy of Dhaka City – Aurhor: Khaled Mahmud, Khonika Gope & Syed Mustafizur Rahman Chowdhury

Abstract

Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, is the most densely populated city in the whole world. More than twelve million people live in Dhaka city. Day by day the number is increasing and most part of Dhaka is badly affected by huge traffic jam. Faulty traffic signaling systems, inadequate manpower, narrow road spaces and overtaking tendency of drivers create pro-longed traffic congestions. Due to traffic jam a substantial portion of working hours have to be left on streets which indirectly put adverse impact on economy. It causes serious air pollution and noise pollution and thus worsens the overall environmental condition. To reduce traffic jam, government can consider construction of roads through east-west connection of Dhaka city, construction of circular embankment-cum-road along the periphery of Dhaka city, grade separated road network system, bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, and Metro-Rail system. By reducing traffic jam, this city can play a very important role by ensuring healthy environment free from noise and pollution.

For more details please follow the link below:

Possible Causes & Solutions of Traffic Jam and Their Impact on the Economy of Dhaka City – Aurhor: Khaled Mahmud, Khonika Gope & Syed Mustafizur Rahman Chowdhury

  • TRANSFORMATION OF SPATIAL PATTERN AND DECLINING OF SOCIAL CAPITAL IN DHAKA CITY, BANGLADESH – Author: Sheikh Rubaiya Sultana Munni 

Abstract

In human settlement, there is a strong link between spatial quality and societal values. A space has two facts: physical phenomenon and a mental arena. Both of them are influenced by the social process (Sheikh, 2006). Nowadays in our country, we are experiencing rapid unplanned urbanization due to the pressure of huge population and globalization. In course of time urban areas are developed for business, education, and administrative purposes. People are coming to urban area for livelihood. To accommodate the huge population, there occurs lot of changes in their living space and pattern. Our traditional living space is being demolished. In the past, people lived in horizontal space but now people are living in a tight and congested area where the traditional space is not respected. The community space, interaction spaces are very rare there. So social bonding is being destroyed. They are living like a machine which is very much contrary to our culture (Sheikh, 2006). This trend is destroying our social capital. This paper aims to study how transformation of spatial pattern affects our living style and turns our social capital (focusing on community network, trust, dependency and cooperation) towards the declination. It also aims to give some recommendations to make this transformation of spatial pattern organized and planned to prevent the declination of our social capital.

For more details please follow the link below:

TRANSFORMATION OF SPATIAL PATTERN AND DECLINING OF SOCIAL CAPITAL IN DHAKA CITY, BANGLADESH – Author: Sheikh Rubaiya Sultana Munni

  • Transportation Problems of Dhaka City: Findings from an Opinion Survey

Over the last few years the transportation problem of Dhaka City has visibly been deteriorating steadily. Citizens constantly complain about the unbearable twin problems of traffic jam and air pollution. Democracy watch decided to address this problem through an opinion poll covering around eight hundred households randomly selected from several purposively selected neighborhoods of the city,  representatives of middle and lower income areas.

The questions asked focused mainly on three issues: (a) the nature of the problem as perceived by the surveyed residents, (b) their understanding about the causes of these problems and (c) their recommendations on solutions to these perceived problems.

Some preliminary results from this survey were presented at a workshop, which was participated by persons associated with the formulation and implementation of traffic policies, rules and programmes. This Draft Final Report benefits from valuable discussion and comments received at the workshop.

The methodology of this survey is explained below in brief. It is easy to see that the study extended beyond a standard opinion poll and entered the arena of investigative research in seeking some explanations to perceptions as well as behaviour.

The findings are presented mainly in the form of self-explanatory tables with some introductory highlights and conclusions.

A further extension of the survey is currently being completed to cover the very poor and the rich categories of residents as was recommended by several participants at the workshop mentioned earlier.

For more details please follow the link below:

Transportation Problems of Dhaka City: Findings from an Opinion Survey

  • Vehicle Mix and Road Space in Dhaka: The Current Situation and Future Scenarios – Author: Debra Efroymson, Mahabubul Bari

Traffic is an enormous problem in Dhaka, and important decisions need to be made about reducing traffic jams. While many officials and others blame rickshaws for Dhaka’s traffic problems, it is important to look at the actual situation on Dhaka’s roads, in terms of how many people are getting about and how much space they require to do so. Only through an analysis of our streets can we make sound decisions about traffic management. This paper looks at the percentage of passengers being moved by different modes, and the amount of road space those modes require. Analysis of number of passengers per mode, road space required, and other factors reveals that while rickshaws take a significant amount of road space, they also move a similar share of  passengers to the space they require, while cars take up a similar amount in order to move very few people. It is thus clear that it is private cars, not rickshaws, that are the main contributors to our traffic jams, and that while policies to reduce rickshaws will be of little effect, policies to reduce the use of private cars will greatly alleviate the traffic jams—benefiting current car drivers as well as all other road users. This paper also shows how a shift from private cars to public transport (buses) and non-motorized transport will result in a number of other significant benefits to our environment, economy, health, and society. While it is easy to blame all our traffic problems on the rickshaw, it is important to make our decisions based not on personal prejudices but on the facts. After all, allowing our policy to be based on biases towards elite groups will hurt not only the masses, but the very elite that were meant to benefit. How much wiser to develop policies that allow for freer movement of everyone, while also improving other aspects of our lives, health, environment and economy.

For more details please follow the link below:

Vehicle Mix and Road Space in Dhaka: The Current Situation and Future Scenarios – Author: Debra Efroymson, Mahabubul Bari

  • Violation of Land Use Plan and Its Impact Community Life in Dhaka City – Autor: Kasphia Nahrin

Abstract

Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, is experiencing one of the highest rate of urbanization in the world. Over the years, the city has had inconsistent transformation of land use and organic development; which in turn created crisis in residential areas or neighborhoods and affected the city life adversely. Bureaucratic problems, political influence, lack of appropriate mechanism for land development for the residential areas, ineffective implementation, poor supervision and monitoring system are continuously creating the opportunity to alter or violate the land use plan. This defiance to follow land use plan of the city (particularly in the residential areas) creates  harmful  consequence  in  the  city   life  such  as   lack  of  social  cohesiveness  and  social security. Moreover, it creates  traffic congestion, inadequate provision of utility services, air pollution, noise pollution, overcrowding, lack of privacy, insufficient parking facility, lack of accessibility, frequent water logging and many other problems. Based on field observation and secondary information, this paper focuses on the issue of land use plan violation and its socioeconomic   impacts   in   Dhaka   City.

For more details please follow the link below:

Violation of Land Use Plan and Its Impact Community Life in Dhaka City –  Autor: Kasphia Nahrin