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Annual Conference on Recent research on Urbanization in Bangladesh


Annual Conference on Recent research on Urbanization in Bangladesh (18 May 2013, at the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh)

Centre  for  Urban  Studies  (CUS),  Dhaka  organized  an annual conference on Recent Research on Urbanization in  Bangladesh  to  celebrate  its  41stFounding Anniversary on 18 May 2013 at the auditorium of Asiatic Society  of  Bangladesh.  Professor  Dr.  Golam  Rahman, President,  Bangladesh  Institute  of  Planners  (BIP)  was present  as  the  Chief  Guest  of  the  ceremony.  CUS Honorary  Chairman  Professor  Nazrul  Islam  presided over the Inaugural session while Professor Rosie Majid Ahsan, Vice Chairman of the Centre for Urban Studies was present as Chair of the paper presentation session. Eight  recent  papers  on  Urbanization  in  Bangladesh based  on  Thesis  /  dissertation  completed  at  various universities  were  presented  in  the  working  session.

A  special  panel  discussion  on  the  Savar  Tragedy  was held in  the  afternoon  session  where  Architect  Khadem Ali, Vice Chairman of the Centre for Urban Studies and former President of the Institute of Architect Bangladesh chaired  the  session  while  a  number  of  experts  from various sectors participated in the panel discussion. Atthe beginning of the discussion Professor Nazrul Islam presented a brief statement on the  Saver Tragedy  of 24 April, 2013. He emphasized on man made disasters and said  that  more  scientific  studies  are  needed  on  these types of disasters.

Before  the  discussion,  Architect  Khadem  Ali  told  there were  a  number  of  professional‟s  organization  failurebehind this tragedy. He said, we have observed, human being do not act humanly as such responsible post like building  owner,  police,  administration  etc.  on  the  there are some good examples of humanity.

Engineer Harun  ur Rashid  commented  on the improper engineering  structure  of  the  Rana  Plaza.  He emphasized  on  proper  construction  design,  soil  test, role  of  the  professional  structural  engineer,  quality  of material and strict control over approval of plan.

Business Man Leader  Mr. Abdul Huq observed that this tragedy  represented  the  failure  of  governance  in  thecountry.  He  opined  that  political  anarchy  has  been playing  a  vital  role  for  creating  this  situation.  For  New Bangladesh  all  should  work  together  to  protect  illegal activities and establish good governance.

Architect  Abdus  Salam  mentioned  it  is  time  to implement  the  National  Building  Code,  Water  bodies conservation  Act,  landuse  Act. We  should  have  strong monitoring bodies for monitoring illegal establishments.

Professor  Shahidul  Ameen  of  BUET,  Architecture Department  said that there  was a big gap between the present control and monitoring system. He told, the way of  present  permission  system  of  building  design  given by  RAJUK  is  completely  wrong.  RAJUK  did  not  follow the  steps  of  inspection  properly,  even  the  educational level of inspection team  member is only H.S.C level. He criticized  the  parallel  plan  pass  status  of  RAJUK  and Municipalities.

Journalist  Toufiq  Ali  said  that  the  Savar  Tragedy  was not only the governance failure but also  a deliberate  act of negligence. He criticized the role of the Government, police, administration, RAJUK and Building Construction Authority. He further criticized on the duplication of act of RAJUK and Municipality in same jurisdiction.

Architect  Salma  A.  Shafi  of  CUS  warned  everyone about  potential  collapse  of  more  buildings.  She  hoped that  proper  procedure  and  zoning  can  improve  this situation.

CUS Vice Chairman, Professor Amirul Islam Chowdhury we  may  learn  many  things  from  this  tragedy.  He questioned why the  preparation of the Government was so small?

In  open  discussion  session  Planner  Afsana  M.  Kamal said we have to take  proper measures  to control  Rana Plaza type occurrence.

CUS Chairman, Professor Nazrul Islam told that he has worked  in  a  number  of  advisory  committees  of  the Government but  the fate of committee recommendation was not clear.

Session Chair and CUS Vice Chairman Architect Khadem Ali said this discussion gives us a wider picture of the country.  It is a reflection of our governance system, there is a big weakness of management in all sectors. We will have to work for better environment to avoid this unexpected deaths. We should address these issues in our planning.  We  do  not  learn  how  to  save ourselves  from  man  made  disaster  and  now  it  is  the time  to  learn  that  techniques.  We should  change  our attitude.  CUS  has  been  working  to  building  public opinion besides its research studies

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