Advocate Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela), has said the capital Dhaka lacks a clear vision.
"So, we demand a clear vision for our capital city," she said, addressing a shadow parliament on good governance in urban management arranged by the Debate for Democracy at the FDC on Friday.
Syeda Rizwana said, "The Tetultala field incident in Dhaka city has been resolved, but the full rights of the people to this field have not been established yet. It is a matter of sorrow that we had to wage a movement and protesters had to stay in police custody for a small field where children played and people offered Eid prayers."
"Dhaka is now a dull, uncoordinated and polluted city," she added.
A detailed area plan for Dhaka city was completed in 2015. Seven years have passed, but the plan has not been renewed or implemented yet. In implementing the detailed area plan, the authorities concerned gave priority to the interests of land grabbers, said Syeda Rizwana.
There are seven rivers surrounding Dhaka city, something not found in any other city in the world, and yet, water has to be fetched from the Padma river for the people of Dhaka, despite the city having seven rivers, she added.
"If we can save the seven rivers, the capital city will be a pollution-free and healthy metropolis."
Hasan Ahmed Chowdhury Kiran, chairman of Debate for Democracy, who chaired the programme, said the city corporations are struggling to address problems the citizens are facing.
"But residential areas of all city corporations including Dhaka, Chattogram, Rajshahi, and Khulna are becoming uninhabitable, due to unplanned construction of shopping centres, educational institutions, hospitals, and commercial offices."
With a little rain, the city's streets and alleys are submerged, with government agencies digging up roads in the monsoon rain, just as they wish, he said.
"We are disappointed when an initiative is taken to build a police station on a children's playground in Dhaka's Kalabagan area," Kiran said.