May 25, 2024, 3:23 pm


Staff Correspondent

Published:
2024-05-05 00:56:43 BdST

Dhaka hits record high temp due to green space, water body loss: Urban planners


Urban planners on Saturday said that the government has been putting much importance on development projects at the cost of green and water bodies which jeopardises human lives by increasing heat in the environment. 

They also said that due to the massive destruction of green space and water bodies Dhaka experienced a record-breaking high temperature in April. 

They said this in a dialogue titled 'Heat Wave in Dhaka: Liability of Urban Planning and Management of Development and Way Forward' organised by the Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) at its Bangla Motor office in the capital. 

Presenting a paper, BIP President  Dr Adil Mohammed Khan said, "Even,  30 years ago, the environment of Dhaka was relatively comfortable but later it started to degrade due to the development in an unplanned way. Even with plans and building laws, unplanned development persists unchecked. In this haphazard development,  government institutions were in the front seat. Civil Aviation Authority and BADC have filled up water bodies for concrete structures. "

An ideal city needs to have a 25% green area and 10-15 % water body for environmental balance, according to global standards of city planning. 

Citing a study, BIP President Adil said that in 1999, the coverage of concrete structures was 65 % which stood at 81.82%. Dhaka now has 9% green coverage and 2.9% water body. 

He said, "Development Project is a priority to the government not lives of people. It is said that this project is of the prime minister,  it is the project of a model or first track these are priority projects. But not the lives of people are a priority to the government. In the name of the expressway, we have destroyed Panthakunja Park and a part of Hatirjheel  Thus we have destroyed the green and open space leading to heat waves. In the name of the development of the station plaza of the metro rail, we are destroying Anowara Udyan. "

He said that the government turned deaf ears on the requests of civil society, even local government representatives like the mayors of Dhaka. 

Speaking on the occasion, BIP general secretary Shaikh Muhammad Mahedi Ahsan said that due to unplanned development, there is a 4-degree Celsius temperature within Dhaka city and areas with more greenery are cooler.

He said, "The government has framed Delta plan first,  then Detailed Area Plan for Dhaka,  now farming Climate Action Plan but the plans are coordinated. How many master plans you will follow? This happens because of not following the whole society approach. " 

Planner Redwanur Rahman blamed the excessive use of air coolers and glass in buildings and urged for regulation of luxury products. 

He said, "Only five percent of people are using air coolers and contributing to urban heat generation. The use of cooler machines consumes much electricity and causes load shedding and victimising poor of heat." 

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