Vegetation, water shrink as concrete covers 82pc of Dhaka

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2020-01-04 23:22:38 BdST

Concrete covering in Dhaka has increased, almost obliterating waterholes and greeneries in some areas, according to a study.

Some 82 percent of the capital is covered in concrete, compared to about 65 percent two decades ago, Bangladesh Institute of Planners or BIP said in a report on Saturday.

Water occupied 14.5 percent of the city in 1999, but it dropped to 5.73 percent in 2009. A decade later, it stands at only 4.38 percent.

Vegetation of Dhaka rose to 9.29 percent in 2009 from 6.69 percent in 1999, but shrank again to 9.2 percent in 2019.

Dhaka had 14.7 percent of its areas open in 1999. The size of such areas fell to 7.8 percent in 2009 and now it stands at 4.61 percent.

Workers remove the trunks of felled trees in Dhaka. File Photo

Workers remove the trunks of felled trees in Dhaka. File Photo

Baridhara, Banani, Gulshan, Mohakhali, and Badda areas have 88.4 percent covered in concrete. These areas have only 0.84 percent greeneries.

Concrete covers 99.14 percent of Mirpur’s Barabagh, Kazipara, Shewrapara, and Ibrahimpur areas while it is 97.6 percent in Khilgaon, Goran, Meradia, Basabo, and Razarbagh areas with only 0.9 percent vegetation.

Old Dhaka’s Swari Ghat and Bangshal areas are 100 percent covered in concrete.

The rate is 99.42 percent in Siddique Bazar and Shankhari Bazar areas with very little vegetation and waterholes.

BIP General Secretary Adil Mohammed Khan said it made the report by using landset data from the EarthExplorer database of the US Geological Survey.

Speaking at the publication of the report, the urban planner blamed the city authorities’ failure to make and implement a plan for a green city with enough waterholes.

“We have filled the open places in the name of urbanisation without giving any importance to the requirement of 30 percent greeneries and waterholes in the city,” he said.

Khan urged the policymakers to review the city’s development plan recommending creation of green public places in every ward under the city corporations and green belts on the banks of the four rivers – Buriganga, Balu, Shitalakkhya and Turag – that surround the capital.

“We can do it on small spaces in every ward if we don’t get enough land. But there is no alternative to this [raising vegetation and waterholes] for saving Dhaka,” he added.

He also urged the government not to allow any more residential areas in the capital.

BIP President Akter Mahmud recommended extending urban facilities of Dhaka to the towns so that people do not crowd the capital.