Life in a Mega city: Dhaka

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Dhaka being the tenth largest city of the world has the population of more than 15.5 million people. Dhaka was said to be the Venice of the East.

As this report (link) has a lot to say about Dhaka being the fastest growing city and at the same time is one of the poor cities of the world. Dhaka city has 5000 slum areas and majority of the population is below the poverty line. The mega technic city is still struggling to provide the basic necessities of life to its people. The availability of water and sanitation issues makes the situation worse for the majority people living in the Venice of the East.

As I was watching this particular news clip covered by the western media it is hard to decide how the city is represented. We hear multiple times that Dhaka is growing fast and is a mega city, whereas I could not find any development in the city in terms of basic necessities. The poor condition of the hospital is obvious in this report along with the health of the publics.

Other than Water supplies and sanitation Dhaka is facing transport problem. Dhaka has seen increased foreign direct investment, leading to greater volumes of trade and commerce. Its transport system is undergoing major redevelopments, with the construction of a metro system, an elevated expressway and the Hatirjheel canal and bypass project. All of this development stands to a still when we look at Dhaka where daily traffic of over 600,000 cycle rickshaws is observed. The re-development of the transport system is more of a Mega-technic giving a single solution to multiple issues.

Under pressure from the World Bank, Dhaka City Corporation announced that from December 17, 2012 it plans to ban rickshaws and non-motorized transport from an important road in Dhaka – Mirpur Road from Russell Square to Azimpur . World Bank plan would eliminate rickshaws from eight major roads (120 km) in this city.

Increasing limitations on rickshaws in Dhaka are causing untold hardship to the poorest and most vulnerable segments of society, reducing the mobility of the middle class (particularly women, children, and the elderly), and contributing to air pollution and motorization. Meanwhile, roads that have completely banned non-motorized transport are still some of the worst affected by traffic jams.

To conclude, the whole scenario and the solutions being offered are specifically for a niche. It has similarities to the Romantic Ambiguity Era where technology does well to a specific class only.


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