The government has taken various initiatives to build a ‘livable’ Dhaka city and the implementation of those initiatives is also visible, Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Md Tajul Islam said on Saturday.
“It is taking time for us to get rid of the culture of environmental pollution and encroachment as we have inherited various forms of mismanagement and malpractices. However, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has reduced the poverty line by making the impossible possi-ble, has become self-sufficient in food from a food deficit country, has become an LDC passed country and has been transformed into Digital Bangladesh, one day we will achieve discipline to prevent envi-ronmental pollution,” he said.
The minister was speaking as the chief guest at a research report presentation and roundtable titled “Wa-terlogging and Green Culling in the Capital in 28 Years: Reality and The Road to Transition” organized by Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) in collaboration with Urban Development Journalists Forum.
People pollute the environment and they can prevent it also. He said the civic amenities of Dhaka cannot be ensured unless corruption and malpractices are stopped.
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, we have achieved the MDGs, we are working towards the implementation of the SDGs by 2030, developed Bangladesh by 2041 and delta master plan by 2100,” said Tajul.
There is also a need to have a certain limit on how many people will live in Dhaka city to protect its green land and wetlands, he said, adding that any good plan and civic amenities are bound to collapse due to the pressure of so many people. The local government minister said it was time to take various indirect policies to discourage people from living in Dhaka beyond the limit.
Noting that the government appreciates criticism from civil society and by any movement, he said, “There are numerous examples in our country of trying to take political advantage from social move-ments.”
Expressing his personal voice against deforestation, encroachment of water bodies and pollution of riv-ers, the LGRD minister said green land and wetlands are also important for human survival because peo-ple cannot survive in infrastructure like cages.