Dhaka can become a city like Venice if all canals are recovered: LGRD Minister
Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives (LGRD), Md Tazul Islam, today said Dhaka can become a city like Venice if all 53 canals in it can be recovered, restored and interconnected, and beautified in a planned way.
The minister also said all the encroached canals of Dhaka city will be recovered to prevent waterlogging.
"When we recover the canals, it will not only solve Dhaka's waterlogging problem but will also transform the city into a beautiful, liveable city for its dwellers," Tazul said during a visit to the ongoing eviction drive on Lautola canal at the city's Basila area.
Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) started the drive on January 23 and has already demolished some buildings, under-construction markets, and a truck terminal among over 50 illegal structures built by filling up 2.5 km stretch of Lautola canal at Basila.
They also began excavation works of the canal.
Tazul said the drive will provide a message to all that no one will be spared if they construct illegal structures.
The authorities will not only recover the lands of this canal but also all other lands illegally occupied by land grabbers, the minister said.
"All government land which came under encroachment or are being encroached will come under the drives and grabbers will not be spared," he said.
"We will launch water transport facilities by interconnecting the canals. We are going to take up a project in this regard holding meetings with foreign investors and the work will start very shortly," he added.
It becomes easier to recover canals when responsibilities go to public representatives as they are connected to the people and can involve them in the process to overcome challenges, the minister remarked.
"This is why canals of Dhaka were handed over to two city corporations from Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA)," he said.
Since taking the duty, two city corporations are recovering the canals which are now visible, he also said.
The minister said they are also working to construct bus stands and truck terminals in a planned way.
Responding to a query, the minister said they have taken permission to bring the canals under Bangladesh Water Development Boards to the two city corporations and the process of bringing canals under the Housing and Public Works ministry is also going on.
DNCC Mayor Md Atiqul Islam, local lawmaker, urban planners, and ward councillors were present during his visit.