The election manifestos of the two BNP mayor candidates are likely to highlight the introduction of an “effective city government” to build a modern and liveable Dhaka city.
The BNP has nominated Ishraque Hossain and Tabith Awal for mayors of Dhaka south and north city corporations. Party leaders said the two have already finalised their election manifestos which would be unveiled soon.
Urban planners say city government is the only way to rid the capital of its problems. Organisations providing services like housing and infrastructure, water supply, transport, waste management, education, and health care have to come under the city government.
Tabith is likely to propose a 12-point plan to make Dhaka “habitable and free from corruption”. Ishraque may come up with a 16-point plan to build a “world class Dhaka metropolis”.
The two manifestos are almost similar to each other as those have been drafted by a group of top BNP leaders. They finalised the manifestos after identifying the problems of the mega city.
Both the candidates would briefly describe how they would ease the traffic congestion, develop a better sewerage system, set up recreation centres and corruption-free city corporations.
“The BNP candidates are likely to announce their manifestos after the Awami League nominees reveal theirs,” said a BNP standing committee member, wishing not to be named.
BNP leaders said Ishraque mulls taking up 60-day priority programmes to resolve the important public issues.
He is also considering launching a 24-hour hotline service at the regional offices of the Dhaka South City Corporation so that people can lodge their complaints and get remedies promptly.
Ishraque, a post graduate from University of Hertfordshire, wants to introduce “One Stop Service” centres for smooth and prompt issuance of birth and death certificates and trade licence.
He mulls discussing the holding tax issue with the city dwellers before reaching a decision in this regard. He also plans to provide safe water and improved sewerage and drainage services to the city residents in close coordination with the Dhaka Wasa and other utility service providers.
Son of former Dhaka mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka, Ishraque plans to establish community centres, modern gymnasiums, and day-care centres for children in each wards of the south city.
Regarding smooth movement of people, he wants to install elevators or escalators at all footbridges in phases, and introduce bus services on some routes for the freedom fighters, elderly, physically challenged and underprivileged people.
He expects to launch community police in each ward to ensure safety and security of the south city residents.
About dengue and chikungunya diseases, Ishraque would create a city health database and give special attention to protect the people from such vector-borne diseases.
He wants to set up primary health check-up centres at the parks and gymnasiums of the city corporation.
In the Dhaka north city, Tabith plans to take an initiative to organise night markets or farmers’ markets at the entry points to the city and some other major areas to facilitate the farmers and the consumers.
He has plans to introduce “food courts” at public places and make arrangements for relocating the street food shops.
Son of BNP leader Abdul Awal Mintoo, Tabith wants to provide free treatment to the members of the underprivileged families and set up mobile health care service centres in association with development agencies.
He has a plan to introduce modern school bus service on specific routes for safe transportation of students to and from schools.
Tabith, a post graduate from George Washington University, also wants to award bright students with “city scholarship” each year for their success in primary-, junior- and SSC-level examinations.
To reduce illegal parking, a major cause for traffic congestion in the capital, the BNP mayoral hopeful wants to build multi-storied parking facilities or parking lots in busy areas on a commercial basis.
He also aims to take an initiative to build a circular road around the capital, as planned by Rajuk, to ease traffic congestion.
Like Ishraque, Tabith also plans to introduce “One Stop Service” for providing prompt services, including issuance of birth and death certificates, and trade licence.
For the recreation activities of the city residents, he wants to introduce boating, fishing and cable car ride in Hatirjheel area on a limited scale.
To ensure safety of the people, the mayoral hopeful plans to install CCTV cameras on the streets, lanes and by lanes in phases.