The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) must provide adequate research data to back up the policies taken in the revised Detailed Area Plan, for example the newly-imposed restriction on building heights, and include guidelines to implement them.
Acknowledging that the restriction is one way to control population density – which is a matter of great concern in Dhaka, experts on Tuesday said the authority proposed several ways to rein in the population growth in different areas, but left unaddressed the matter that only 4% of the infrastructure is legally compliant.
Likewise, Rajuk has deemed ineffective the Dhaka Building Construction Rules 2008 in controlling the population density without providing an explanation, speakers said at a press conference organised by the Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB) on the revised DAP for the period up to 2035.
A three-dimensional modelling has to be done to assess the impact of the policies, and people of all backgrounds – who live in Dhaka – should be engaged in the process of formulating the revised DAP before it is finalised, said renowned architects of the country, including IAB's President Jalal Ahmed and former president Kazi Golam Nasir.
Besides, Rajuk needs to review the previous detailed area plan to identify where it failed and where it succeeded, and incorporate those findings in the new DAP, they added.
Dhaka is a city for all people, where civic rights of men, women, children and physically-challenged people should be protected irrespective of their social and economic backgrounds, said Jalal Ahmed as he read out the keynote paper.
"The city also should have the capacity to adapt to climate change and deal with epidemics."
Speakers said Rajuk in many cases did not mention how it would go ahead with the plan and implement the changes it recommended.
To explain, architect Iqbal Habib said Rajuk pointed out the areas where playgrounds would be built, but did not say how the lands would be acquired and converted. The new DAP also lacks directions to reclaim water bodies that have already been encroached upon.
Rajuk also suggested block development without any restriction on building heights on 5- acre land and above, and mixed-land use in almost 95% of the total area. The suggestions are not aligned with the plan to control density. Therefore, case studies and simulation modelling should be done to corroborate them, speakers said.
Similarly, the new DAP fails to provide affordable housing solutions to slum dwellers and people of the lower-income group. Of the nearly 2 crore population, 40 lakh belong to this group.
Under the new plan, city roads do not have to have minimum width, which the IAB considers detrimental for the future development of the city.
Above all that, Rajuk has to be strengthened with additional skilled manpower to play the role of a development authority, speakers said.