Dhaka city Mayor Atiqul Islam shares experience in Turkish capital, inspiration with Anadolu Agency.
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – Bangladesh is looked-for Ankara-Dhaka city-to-city cooperation to make its capital as a greenery and pollution-free modern city by exchanging the best practices of governing mega-cities.
Dhaka Mayor Atiqul Islam expressed his desire during a recent visit to Turkey with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen to meet their counterparts.
Islam, who runs the Dhaka North City Corporation, spoke to Anadolu Agency in an interview to share his experience in the Turkish capital Ankara and how it inspired him, on better regulating and improving city management.
– Ankara experience can help Dhaka’s reshuffling
Dhaka is ranked the fourth least livable city in the world on the Global Liveability Index 2021.
The mayor said government agencies were working to improve living conditions in Dhaka and that Ankara’s design would help in the process.
“We find both so many historical and modern establishments and rich nature side by side, including lakes in Ankara which makes Ankara such an eye-catching city.”
Meanwhile, waterway is a popular transportation in Turkey, he added.
“We have the same opportunity in Dhaka as have some rivers encircling the capital, Dhaka, and there are so many natural canals. If we can reclaim, renovate and beautify all the water bodies in Dhaka then we could make water transport a popular and comfortable transportation in Dhaka.”
“Those great practices we could learn how those are being operated in Turkey and can exchange ideas for the betterment and beautification of our cities,” he added.
– Ankara waste management inspires Dhaka
The city of Dhaka is home to about 20 million people living under the world’s third-worst quality air in 2019, according to the AirVisual Index.
Its poor waste management, construction works, brick kilns, and rising number of fuel-burning vehicles are among the top causes of the pollution. Around 90% of residents are affected by serious dust pollution, according to the Save Environment Movement Bangladesh.
Mayor Islam also admitted to this situation, attributing the dust problem to a lack of maintenance from the parties involved in construction works in across the city.
He said Ankara’s waste management was well equipped and that waste is taken underground, including to a secondary transfer station.
“I talked to the city mayor to learn about Ankara’s waste management system. When I met and talked to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavas, I proposed a ‘sister city concept’ on taking our best practice in cities in Turkey and Bangladesh,” he said.
The Turkish foreign minister and the mayor appreciated the proposal, he recalled.
“Talks we had, it opened scope to work jointly on city landscaping and beautification, and opened a new door in knowledge sharing and cultural exchange of cities.”
All DNCC wastes dump to Amin Bazar landfill, outskirt of the capital Dhaka. Huge methane gas originates from the landfill which raises the temperature of the city.
We are working to generate electricity from the city waste; therefore, we have signed an agreement with a Chinese company to this end, Mayor Islam added.
And, once it started functioning, Dhaka city pollution would be halved, he said.
“On top of that, we inaugurated a bust of father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and a park after his name in Ankara. We have a similar plan of opening a park and sculpture of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. It would make our friendship go unbound and strengthen further.”
– City transportation improvement
Dhaka’s poor traffic and road management slowed vehicular speeds to about 6.5 kilometers per hour (4.5 miles per hour) in the last 12 years and it causes 40% fuel waste, according to the Accident Research Institute of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.
Poor traffic management is also causing huge financial losses. The city wastes $483,872 daily, said the study.
The mayor said he had held talks with his counterpart in Ankara on city road transportation best practices in Turkey.
“They have both public and private bus transportation and a health competition between the two. We shared our plan of bringing Dhaka city bus services under a franchise system,” Mayor Islam added.
“We are enlisting all those and will share with Turkey about our best initiatives for the development of our city corporations while Turkey will also share the best initiatives of its city corporations under a possible formal agreement.”
And, if we relieve the pressure on Dhaka city it would reduce the city traffic and if we can connect the neighboring city corporations like Savar, Gazipur, Narayanganj with Dhaka. Meanwhile, the mega project Padma Bridge, Dhaka metro rail and elevated expressway would further ease the traffic movement, improve the communication and comfort in capital Dhaka.
Dhaka mayor eyes Turkish cooperation towards the capital Dhaka city’s journey of becoming a modern city.