Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday stressed the need for working out future plans to address water supply, sewerage treatment and waste management issues for the country’s rural areas alongside the capital as the government wants to develop every village as a township.
“We’ll have to take steps to address three issues — ensuring safe water supply, sewerage treatment and waste management– in an integrated way for every district, upazila, union and ward. Because, we want to develop every village as a township,” she said.
The Prime Minister was addressing a function after digitally unveiling the foundation stone of a sewerage treatment plant in the city.
Sheikh Hasina asked the Local Government Minister and others concerned to work out future plans in this regard alongside a plan for the capital.
Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Dwasa) arranged the function at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel to lay the foundation stone of Dasherkandi Sewerage Treatment Plant.
The Prime Minister said her government has already taken a plan to replace the city’s slums with multi-storey buildings for ensuring a better and healthy lifestyle for the downtrodden.
Noting that there will be no such slum in Dhaka city, Sheikh Hasina said the government will construct 20-storey buildings for the slum dwellers where they can live by giving rent on daily, weekly and monthly basis as per their capacity.
She said poor people migrate to cities for many reasons and end up in slums to lead an inhumane life. “We need such people (for daily works) in cities. So, we need to give a special attention towards improving their lifestyle as well.”
She bemoaned that various obstacles delay the process whenever the government goes for implementing any important project.
Mentioning that the government had to face 68 cases during the implementation of Hatirjheel project, she said, “When we want to do anything, obstacles come up. We’ll have to work overcoming the barriers.”
Hasina said if a plan for every union is taken now, there will be no problem during implementation of any big development project in the future.
A video presentation was projected over Daserkandi Sewerage Treatment Plant which will be constructed at Khilgaon in the city.
The plant has been taken to ensure modern sewerage system for some 50 lakh people of Hatirjheel, Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara, Basundhara, Sangsad Bhaban and adjacent areas.
Mentioning that many box culverts were constructed on the canals in the city, she said if her government can come to power again, it will construct elevated roads in place of the culverts.
“The next election will be held in December. If we can come to power again, I’ll have a target to dismantle every box culvert to reopen the canals and construct elevated roads over the canals,” she said adding that the box culverts were built over many canals, including the ones in Segunbagicha, Shantinagar and Panthapath.
She also emphasised protection of the existing ponds in the city as many high-rise buildings were constructed filling up ponds.
Talking about the Buriganga River, the Prime Minister said it is essential to construct two sewerage treatment systems –one is for households waste or solid waste and another for industrial waste — to protect the river from pollution.
Mentioning that there is no alternative to river dredging to save the country, Hasina said it is very essential to dredge rivers to maintain the water flow and prevent riverbank erosion and thus protect the rivers and environment.
About Dhaka Wasa, the Prime Minister said the government has taken many measures to ease the water crisis and anomalies in the city after coming to power in 2009.
An uninterrupted water supply has been ensured in the city with the continuation of her government, she said.
As part of the Dhaka Wasa Master Plan to bring the entire city under modern sewerage system by 2025, the Dasherkandi Sewerage Treatment Plant is being constructed at a cost of Tk 332 crore with Chinese government’s support.
Besides, four other sewerage treatment plants will be constructed in Paula, Uttara, Rayerbazar and Mirpur areas of the city.
Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister KhandkerMosharrafHossain, Local Government Division Senior Secretary DrZafar Ahmed Khan, Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Zhang Zuo and Dwasa Managing Director Engineer TaqsemA Khan also spoke at the function.