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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 6 | Issue 43 | October 30, 2012 |


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Planning for Bangladesh

M Ariful Islam

According to Francis Bacon, “Young people are fitter to invent than to judge; fitter for execution than for counsel; and more fit for new projects than for settled business.” Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) always encourages the young students to meet the challenges in their professional life and be aware of national and global issues. In this regard, BIP organised the Young Planner's Day, 2012, on September 29, at the BIP secretariat. The chief guest of this programme was prominent Structural Engineer, Professor Dr Jamilur Reza Choudhury, the Vice-Chancellor of University of Asia Pacific, Adviser to the Former Care-Taker Government, and the special guest was Engineer Md Nurul Huda, Chairman of RAJUK. The programme was presided over by Professor Dr Golam Rahman, President of BIP. Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury, in his speech, said that as Bangladesh is an over-populated country, it is very important to adopt a comprehensive plan at the national level for the protection of our agricultural land. He also drew the attention of the policy makers to engage today's young planners in the national development process. Engineer Md Nurul Huda, Chairman of RAJUK, said in his speech that the Government has taken all the necessary steps for strengthening RAJUK to meet the challenges of urbanisation of Dhaka city.

Courtesy: BIP

The theme of this year's observation was 'Sensible Urban Plan: Prosperous Humane Habitat.' The programme featured debates on contemporary urban planning issues related to green development. The motive of this debate was to create awarness amongst others about the present condition of urban areas of Bangladesh as well as the whole world and to come up with possible solutions. The participating universities were Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Khulna University, Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (KUET), Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (CUET), Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (RUET) and Jahangirnagar University, all offering undergraduate programmes on Urban and Regional Planning. A total of six debate competitions were held in two groups on topics like, 'Foreign assistance is a obstacle in development of a developing country', 'In mitigating water logging, restoration of natural drainage system is more effective than technical solution', 'Lack of implementation of land-use planning is the main cause of traffic congestion in cities', 'Lack of political commitment is the main obstacle for plan implementation', 'Decentralisation is the only prerequisite for planned urbanisation' and ,'Solving housing problem, Government initiative is more fruitful than that of private sector'. The final round was held in between BUET and KUET on the topic--'Plan preparation and implementation by the local government is more logical than by the city development authority.' BUET stood out as the winner of the debate sessions.

The programme also featured an exhibition of academic project works and presentation on undergraduate thesis. After assessment, the best three projects were awarded. The thesis titled, 'Measuring Spatio - Temporal Accessibility to Work Places and Its Impact on Livelihood Pricing- A Study on the Residents of Banasree Residential Area in Dhaka City' was selected as the best and was awarded by Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury. The working procedure of City Corporation and 'Pourashava' was also highlighted in the programme.

Overall, the entire programme revolved around the theme of planning issues on Bangladesh and in global aspects. The expert opinion and also the views of young generations about the planning issues were highlighted in the programme. The programme ended with an informal cultural ceremony performed by young planners of different universities.

(The writer is the Joint Secretary of Bangladesh Institute of Planners.)

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