Despite the arguments from different private agencies, the authorities concerned are confident that the Detailed Area Plan (DAP) of Dhaka will be finalized by this December.
DAP will guide the future construction of buildings in Dhaka city, the use of land and the demarcation of canals and flow areas.
Confirming this to the media an official of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development & Co-operatives told Bangladesh Post that a national seminar on DAP implementation is going to be held this month, following which a Review Committee meeting will also be held before finalizing DAP.
DAP Project Director Ashraful Islam told Bangladesh Post, “A national seminar on DAP implementation will be held on November 20, where all stakeholders will participate. Then a cabinet meeting will remain to get the final nod for finalizing DAP.”
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In a recent exchange of views with both City Corporations to finalize the revised DAP, Local Government Minister Tajul Islam said, “The area would be determined by formulating a policy. If there are any errors or inconsistencies during the implementation after the publication of the Gazette or if there is a need for change or correction for any logical reason, it must be done. All preparations have been made to publish the final gazette within this period. If all goes well, it will be possible to finalize it in December.”
The minister has also expressed his optimism that there is a rumor that once DAP is finalized it can create barriers in many cases, but be assured that, this is for the wellbeing of the city dwellers.
For example, he showed, the government does not want to put pressure on the capital only rather its only view to reach every facility in each part of the city. While asking about space reduction of high rise buildings, it was informed that it's not like the authorities concerned will not allow high rise buildings, but there should be other adequate facilities too.
In order to ease the traffic congestion in the capital, various initiatives including constructing a ring road, bus route rationalization, the introduction of metro rail and canal navigation systems are being given priority in the proposed DAP. The plan also recommends building an integrated communication system with emphasis on roads, water and railways.
RAJUK officials told Bangladesh Post that DAP has taken several initiatives including reducing population density, reconstruction, metro station-based development, construction of 2,749-km road network, construction of 1,327-km waterways in Dhaka.
In order to control the population density, there is a proposal to control the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) by setting the maximum height of the building to eight stories.
According to DAP Project Director Ashraful Islam, “Carrying out a detailed plan is not easy as Dhaka is home to over two crore people. We faced many complications from the locals and we had to give them the proper information. We did several meetings with local leaders so that everyone, even from grassroots, will be on board with the project”.
The DAP area is 1,528 square kms which covers the total RAJUK’s jurisdiction area that spans from Gazipur Pourashava to the North, Dhaleshawri River to the South, Bangshi and Dhaleshawri rivers to the West and Shitalakkhya and Meghna River to the East.
The total DAP area was divided into five groups and a number of small locations. These were given to five firms: DDC, EPC, GBL, Sheltech (Pvt.) Ltd and BETS.
According to RAJUK reports, DAP initially started in July 2004 and was set to be completed by December 2008. Furthermore, the initiative for the plan was adapted for 2010-2015. However, it finally began drafting as the 20-year plan for 2016-2035 in 2015.