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‘Dhaka is divided’ November 29, 2011

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Government is considering to divide Dhaka into two parts to be taken care of by two city corporaations – North and South. It is not clarified which city corporation will be considered as the capital of the country.

A bill in this regard is under process of preparation and will soon be passed in the parliament.

A demand for Two Dhaka was not raised by any political party or any citizen group or by the city corporation itself. It was not even discussed in any public or expert forum.

How and why the idea came into the head of the Government is a mystery for the ordinary people.

The idea would be a unique step in the city administration of the world and Dhaka will be remembered either for it’s good or bad invention in the history. No city in the world so far divided on the plea for better delivery of service to the people.

With the passing of bill , the elected City Mayor Sadek Hussain Khoka will be relinquisheed of his dury. An administrator, appointted by the Government the qualfications of whom not defined in detail, will take over the charge of the city corporation. The new administrator will be responsible to arrange election within 3 months, if not, then within 6 months time.

Sultana Kamal, ex-Adviser, Caretaker Government opined against the move to relinquish an elected city mayoy in such a way as it is unconstitutional.

Akbar Ali Khan, a veteran ex- civil servant and also an Ex- Adviser said the move will create more confusion . He asked whether the ulility service providers will also be equally divided.

Dr. Hussain Jillur Rahman, an economist and ex- Adviser for Caretaker Government said it will create unnecessary turmoil and is a mean way of gaining political end.

Prime Minister Hasina tried to assure the nation that the move is to deliver better service to the city dwellers. But few people seem to be convinced.

If the move is to get political gain in the next city corporation election,then the move will be turned bomerung if the voters do not see any benefit in the move.

The corporation workers also staged their protest against the division. They expressed that the division will leave the south in financial crisis as the taxes in the south is not enough to sustain the expenses.

The South is old, dense and less prosprerous. Will the division of the city make them frustrated?

An ordinary citizen

Follow up :
The bill to divide Dhaka was placed in Parliament and was passed in 5 minutes.
The people from all walks of life gathered at Shahid Minar and staged their protest against the division of Dhaka.
A cartoonist look at the division

Dhaka split is challenged in the court. High court asks govt and EC to explain.
EC said it is not possible to hold voting within 90 days.
EC was not consulted.
BNP calls hartal on 4th December, 2011.
Councilors will stage protests in wards.

AL challenges BNP to assess their popularity in next city election.
BNP demands Referendum on Dhaka split.

Hartal observed in Dhaka. BNP processions were disrupted by police. Pro-govt activist organised processions at different places. Ex-Mayor Khoka was arrested and remain in police custody for an hour. Stabbed by the pro-govt activists while in police custody and admitted in United Hospital.

Dhaka split for narrow political gain- Ex-Mayor Sadek Hussain Khoka in Prothom Alo
‘We support today’s Hartal’-Syed Abul Maksud, Shahdin Malik, Piyash Karim, Nurul Kabbir, Asif Nazrul-Members of a Citizen Movement in Prothom Alo