Monday, February 18, 2019 | ePaper

Promoting major cities for the sake of development

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Dr. Syed Nesar Ahmad Rumy :
Major cities are the sources of the maximum utility services of all the countries of the world. But in Bangladesh, the capital city Dhaka is the centre of major developmental work. It is not an ideal situation that a country of huge population can depend upon only one city for the services needed for the citizens. In Bangladesh context, we usually see this situation in every sphere of our national life. People of different areas and remote areas are always on run to come to Dhaka for different purposes. But truly it is very inconvenient and costly to go to Dhaka for taking the best services available in the country. People usually face lot of problems when they come to Dhaka from remote areas. Staff and officers of the offices of different services sectors show their busyness and artificiality to the people who come to them. Harassing common people in those offices has become very normal phenomena. People need to depend on Dhaka for almost all purposes of their daily life. In this point of view for the long term perspectives, we need to develop at least ten to twelve cities of our country with recognized international standard. Many small countries like us do not depend upon only one city like Dhaka of us. In this regard we can refer South Korea, Malaysia in Asia and UAE in gulf area. They have many other cities other than their national capital. People of those countries take appropriate services from those cities other than the national capital. Few years back Kualalumpur of Malaysia and Bangkok of Thailand are the main cities to provide services to the people of those countries. Now the situation has been changed. In Malaysia Penang and Chiangmy in Thailand have grown as second city as an alternative to the National capital.
Bangladesh is not a country of possessing a big geographical area like India, China, Russia and USA. It is a country of huge population with small land area. If such is the condition, Bangladesh has to take initiatives to transform its major cities developed and modernized. In this context, the city planners or the appropriate authorities can take two types of plan. One is short-term perspective and another one is long term perspective plan.  
The City planners must take initiatives to make ten to twelve cities internationally attractive. So that people come from abroad staying not only in Dhaka, but in other cities also. For that reason, those cities must be modernized and developed accordingly. People from different parts of the country can come to these cities and take different types of services which are generally available in Dhaka. In this way common people get great relieved without going and coming to Dhaka. As a result of this consequence, pressure on Dhaka will be decreased gradually and parity of development will be ensured throughout the country.Selected cities to be developed in such a way that these cities will be called as a centre of excellence and people of our country will be proud of their cities. Almost all the modern amenities and facilities for the citizens will be available in these cities so that people from home and abroad can get world class standard services from there.
For this, the city/town planners or the appropriate authority can take former greater districts headquarters and some other important cities. Initially 10 important cities can be taken for this project. These cities are as follows: Khulna, Barishal, Jashore, Kushtia, Rajshahi, Bogura, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Mymenshing, Sylhet andCumilla. In the second phase we can take Maijdi, Brahmanbaria, Tangail and Patuakhai, Pabna etc. We can give some names for the branding of those districts. Suppose, Khulna can get a name related to Sundarban, Royal Bengal tiger and Chitra deer. Barishal can get a second name related to river and Hilsha fish. Kushtia can get a name related to culture and bauls. Similarly Rajshai, Bogura, Dinajpur, Mymenshing and other districts can get second name for popular branding. In this way whole of Bangladesh will get a different branding to the peole/tourists coming to Bangladesh.
Maximum people of Bangladesh speak in Bangla and it is a great advantage of Bangladesh for development and nation building. Government should pay special attention to the cities or main towns of greater districts for development and modernizations.
The life style and the development will take positive shape if the government can undertake a ten years perspective plan to build 20 cities internationally standard. After completion of this project the selected cities will get a new shape and this development activity will make the rural area upgraded and people of the remote areas will be benefited considerably.
Government or city authority and private groups have to take initiatives constructing Star hotels, Motels, Community Centers, Resorts, Standard educational institutions and Hospitals in those towns or cities for promoting business, tourism, education and health sectors.
As a result of these consequences, internal tourism will be promoted and people/tourists from abroad would be interested to visit Bangladesh. If everything goes well and proposed plan/development activities implemented, Bangladesh will get a new look within very short time and at the same time the image of the country must be uplifted to international community. The government think tanks should think over this.

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