Dhaka – The government on Monday approved draft of a law for planned usage of urban land as Bangladesh, one of the most densely populated country in the world, has been losing arable land due to its rapid population growth.
The approval came at the weekly meeting of the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has long been asking the citizens to make best use of the country’s land.
Bangladesh’s urban population, according to World Bank’s 2015 data, is 34.3 of total population of 160 million with the rate of urbanization 3.55 per cent.
The proposed law suggested a provision of five years rigorous imprisonment and fine of maximum Taka 5 million for those who would be found to have violated any rules, plan or order under the law, said official spokesman M Shafiul Alam.
Alam, also the cabinet secretary, the draft law titled Nagor and Anchal Parikolpana Ain- 2017 (City and Area Planning Act, 2017) is meant for bringing discipline in the land management system
“It will also help ensure planned use of land,” he added.
The draft will be placed in parliament as a Bill for enactment.
“Once the law is passed, necessary clearance would be required for use of all public and private lands directly or indirectly related to urban and city development and land use management systems,” he said.
Alam said the law proposed constitution of a high-lever advisory council to give such clearances for land use while it would also be empowered to delegate the power to any specific authority for the purpose.
The advisory council, he said, would be headed by the housing and public works minister while it would primarily give policy support to the Urban Development Directorate and other regulatory bodies.
The proposed law alongside the advisory, sought to form an executive council (EC) as well with housing and public works secretary as chairman for conducting day to day functions related to issuance of such clearance.
“The EC will place proposal to the advisory council for approval and implement the decisions of the council,” state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha quoted the cabinet secretary as saying.