Bangladesh is seeking city-to-city cooperation Ankara-Dhaka to make its capital a modern city without greenery and pollution by exchanging best practices in governance of mega-cities.
The mayor of Dhaka, Atiqul Islam, expressed his desire during a recent visit to Turkey with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen to meet their counterparts.
Islam, who heads 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 to better regulate and improve the management of the city.
– Ankara experience can help with Dhaka reshuffle
Dhaka is ranked the fourth least liveable city in the world on the 2021 Global Quality of Life Index.
The mayor said government agencies are working to improve living conditions in Dhaka and Ankara’s design will help in the process.
“We find both historic and modern establishments and rich nature nearby, including lakes in Ankara that make Ankara such an eye-catching city. “
Meanwhile, the waterway is a popular means of transportation in Turkey, he added.
“We have the same opportunity in Dhaka as some of the rivers that surround the capital, Dhaka, and there are so many natural canals. If we can reclaim, renovate and beautify all water bodies in Dhaka, we could make water transportation popular and comfortable means of transportation in Dhaka.
“These good practices, we could learn how they are exploited in Turkey and exchange ideas for the improvement and beautification of our cities”, he added.
– Ankara’s waste management inspires Dhaka
Dhaka city is home to around 20 million people living under the third worst air quality in the world in 2019, according to the AirVisual Index.
Its poor waste management, construction work, brick kilns and the growing number of gasoline vehicles are among the main causes of pollution. About 90% of residents are affected by severe dust pollution, according to the Save Environment Movement Bangladesh.
Mayor Islam also admitted this situation, attributing the dust problem to a lack of maintenance on the part of the parties involved in the construction works throughout the city.
He said Ankara’s waste management is well equipped and the waste goes underground, including to a secondary transfer station.
“I spoke to the mayor of the city to find out more about Ankara’s waste management system. When I met and discussed with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and the Mayor of Ankara Mansur Yavas, I proposed a “sister city concept” on the application of our best practices in the cities of Turkey and from Bangladesh, ”he said.
The Turkish Foreign Minister and the mayor appreciated the proposal, he recalled.
“The discussions we had opened up the possibility of working together on landscaping and city beautification and opened a new door to knowledge sharing and cultural exchange of cities. “
All DNCC waste is dumped in the Amin Bazar landfill, on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka. Huge methane gas comes from the landfill, raising the temperature of the city.
We are working to generate electricity from the city’s waste; therefore, we signed an agreement with a Chinese company for this purpose, added Mayor Islam.
And, once it started operating, Dhaka city’s pollution would be halved, he said.
“In addition to that, we unveiled a bust of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and a park in his name in Ankara. We have a similar plan for opening a park and a sculpture by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. This would allow our friendship to loosen and grow stronger. “
– Improvement of urban transport
According to the Accident Research Institute of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, poor traffic and road management in Dhaka slowed the speed of vehicles to around 6.5 kilometers per hour (4, 5 miles per hour) over the past 12 years.
Poor traffic management also leads to huge financial losses. The city wastes $ 483,872 a day, according to the study.
The mayor said he had held talks with his counterpart in Ankara on best practices in road transport in Turkey.
“They have both public and private bus transport and a health competition between the two. We shared our plan to consolidate Dhaka city bus services under a franchise system, ”Mayor Islam added.
“We are recruiting all of these and will share with Turkey our best initiatives for the development of our urban societies, while Turkey will also share the best initiatives of its municipal companies as part of a possible formal agreement.”
And, if we alleviated the pressure on Dhaka city, it would reduce the city traffic and if we could connect the neighboring city companies like Savar, Gazipur, Narayanganj with Dhaka. Meanwhile, the mega Padma Bridge project, Dhaka metro and the elevated highway would further facilitate traffic, improve communication and comfort in the capital Dhaka.
The mayor of Dhaka is considering Turkish cooperation to turn the capital Dhaka into a modern city.