COMMENTARY: Thank you Dhaka mayors
August 3rd, 2020 at 11:04 am
COMMENTARY: Thank you Dhaka mayors

Nadeem Qadir;

It is said that “where there is a will, there is a way.” The will of the two Dhaka mayors has clicked for the first time to solve a decades old problem — quick cleaning of the capital city after each Eid al-adha.

Thus both the mayors – Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh and Atiqul Islam – of Dhaka South and Dhaka North deserve special thanks for not only keeping their promises and proving that this cleaning task in 24 hours was possible before too, but never done.

Remembering late Mayor Annisul Huq, one will not hesitate to say that for the first time even in the city corporation’s history he proved that one can stay honest, committed and courage can take the person in that position a long way.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greeted the two newly elected mayors of Dhaka City – Atiqul Islam and Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh

It could have cost his life that day when he appeared at the truck stand to himself supervise the operation, but he did not give up.

His most significant task was freeing the road between Tejgaon and Kawran Bazar from illegal truck parking which was a money-making machine for corrupt people from all sections of power of corporations. This has been an open secret for decades.

The current Dhaka Mayors should take an important lesson from Annisul’s handling — be tough.

Barrister Taposh appears to be on track when he sacked corrupt members of the Dhaka South City Corporation, which many think should be done in the North City Corporation too. Both have more evils than saints.

Dhaka residents are thankful to the two mayors for the good job which have spared them to live with foul smell and step on holy blood of sacrificial animals flowing on the streets, which is a sin as per religious dictates.

Bangladesh city elections
Logo of Dhaka North City Corporation

They have contributed in keeping the city air less polluted.

“We did this job previously for three days, but this time we could do it in 24 hours as ordered,” one cleaning woman told a TV channel.

This welcome development means that the being tough and unbiased under any pressure is the key to success. The other is proper planning and utilisation of the available manpower.

This is a road map for rest of the work that the mayors have to do — fighting dengue mosquitoes, recovering lost drains and canals, and turning Dhaka into a befitting capital of the Bengalis.

The Sylhet city mayor too has been hailed for doing similar job. Thanks to him also. He must remember Sylhet has a huge community living abroad, especially in London.

He should seek their help and make it a city as historical and beautiful like any British city. Tough, but not impossible.

The mayors should study how other cities were turned into tourist destinations.

As a traveller, my suggestion is that both the mayors start work from the two ends of the city and celebrate at the centre point on finishing the job. But must remain alert to graft, which might become a hurdle and instead of importing, they must ensure support to the local industry.

Taposh Bhai and Atiq Bhai keep up the good work. God bless!

Nadeem Qadir is a senior Bangladeshi journalist and a Dag Hammarskjöld fellow,-