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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