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4:23 am | April 14, 2024
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the green cover is gradually fading in dhaka, bangladesh
Aivee Akther Bangladesh Environmental Problems

The green cover is gradually fading in Dhaka, Bangladesh

The green cover is gradually fading in Dhaka, Bangladesh


Dhaka, a city of about one and a half million people, is one of the world’s most densely populated and polluted cities. It ranks seventh in the world on the list of unlivable cities.

Experts are blaming the decrease in green cover and increase in the amount of concrete for this. They say less greenery than required poses a danger to city dwellers.

According to the government, the area of ​​the whole city with the two city corporations of Dhaka is about 306 square kilometers, which was about 130 square kilometers earlier. According to the latest census (2022), the total population of these two city corporations is one crore 278,882 people.

Among them are 5,979,537 people in Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and 4,299,345 in Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC). Although the population is higher in the north of Dhaka, the density is highest in the South, with 39,353 people per square kilometer.

A 2019 study by the Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) says that the green area in Dhaka is 9.2 percent of the total area. It will be much less if the area covered by vegetation is taken into account.

About 81.82 percent of the city’s total area is covered with concrete. Of the remaining area, 9.2 percent is the green cover, 4.61 percent is open space, and 4.38 percent is the wetland.

Those concerned said that in 1999, the green area of ​​Dhaka was 8.97 square kilometers, which has increased to 12.33 square kilometers in 2019.

But globally, this green area has decreased by 37 percent in the last 20 years. As densely populated Dhaka loses its green appearance, the city dwellers face an indirect risk.

Dhaka is losing its green space because,

  • Unplanned urbanization,
  • Lack of emphasis on greenery in building and infrastructure construction, massive reduction of open spaces and wetlands, and
  • Indiscriminate deforestation.

Apart from this, the greedy nature of the city dwellers covering most land to construct buildings and using concrete decoration gradually faded the city.

Environmentalists say, due to these reasons, the fresh air of Dhaka, which was once surrounded by plants and covered with greenery, is turning into a polluted atmosphere, which has made this city unlivable constantly.

It is essential that the concerned authorities, including the two city Corporations of Dhaka, pay attention to this. Otherwise, the situation will worsen in the future.

Dr. Kazi Zaker Hossain, an Environmental expert and Emeritus Professor of Dhaka University, says, ’25 percent of the total land of a township needs to have plants.

As such, there should be three times more plants than the population. In this case, the condition of the capital Dhaka is terrible, which is a matter of concern.”

Abu Nasser Khan, Chairman of the Poribesh Bachao Andolon (POBA), said, “The population is increasing, but the greenery is not increasing in that proportion.” On the contrary, it is decreasing. The amount of oxygen in the air is decreasing.

The temperature is rising and affecting public life. The green cover should preserve. Otherwise, the risk to the city dwellers will increase. The matter needs to take seriously.”

Sheikh Md. Mehdi Ahsan, General Secretary of BIP, said, ‘The picture that emerged in the 2019 study, the situation has not improved in the last two years, but has deteriorated.

The amount of green-covered areas is constantly decreasing. The trees in the parks are being cut down and dying. The amount of open space and water bodies is decreasing. The remains are also in threat.”

Pointing out that there are trees and green areas in the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) area, he said, “Private houses build without planning. The approved design has not been followed.

Places like Hatirjheel and Gulshan Lake remain unprotected. Although a 20-year (2016-2035) Detailed Area Plan (DAP) has been made, there is no effective implementation initiative. If it gets proper implementation, the situation would have improved.”

On June 23 of this year, a notification from the Ministry of Housing and Public Works, Bangladesh, informed that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had approved the summary of DAP prepared by Rajuk. They have sent the draft gazette to the ministry and requested to take action as soon as possible.

Rizwana Hasan, Chief Executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), said, “To save Dhaka, the green and blue networks here must save. Because we are turning this city into a concrete jungle, its temperature is 2-3 degrees Celsius higher than the neighboring cities.”

She further said, ‘There is no alternative to greening open spaces to remedy this. Rajuk, Two City Corporations, and Forest Department, Bangladesh, should have joint programs for urban afforestation.

If all rooftops in the city are converted into gardens, the temperature will drop by at least 2 degrees Celcius. For this, we have to work that way.”

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