We are not getting our due share of budgetary allocations: Sarwar
Mayor of Barisal City Corporation Mujibur Rahman Sarwar gives a picture of the activities undertaken for the development of the city in an interview with Akther Shaheen of
DS: What is your development agenda for Barisal city?
Mayor: We have an elaborate plan for the city which includes a housing scheme for the residents, zoo, children's park, truck stand, a city protection embankment, two by-pass roads for alleviating traffic jam, botanical garden and an air-conditioned market. We have a Tk 284 crore budget for implementing our plans.
DS: What problems are you facing in implementing the plans?
Mayor: Well, financial constraints and lack of balance in the government's budgetary allocations are the main hurdles that we are facing. For example, the allocation for Barisal is the same as Sylhet, though it is much bigger than that city.
DS: Do we have any specific plan for the city?
Mayor: Yes, Poet Nazrul termed our town the “Venice of Bengal.” I want to prove that true by transforming Barisal into a beautiful city.
DS: what are your plans for boosting supply of water and electricity?
Mayor: We are laying maximum emphasis on solving the problems that people are facing due to shortage of water and electricity. Barisal has been included in the development project for five districts. The water and electricity problems will be solved once work on the project starts. Besides, we are going to build two water treatment plants for the city at a cost of Tk 42 crore. I cannot comment on setting up of power plants, since it is not our task.
DS: What is the corporation doing for improving health services?
Mayor: We have set up a diabetes hospital and a heart foundation and work is on for constructing 10 satellite clinics in the city.
DS: What about the city's environment?
Mayor: We have formed a special cell with the engineers of Nagar Bhavan. The idea is to check environmental degradation in the city.
DS: Is the corporation doing anything to cut costs?
Mayor: We have already adopted some measures to enhance the corporation's income and reduce expenditures.
DS: Do you support the concept of city government?
Mayor: No. We are not yet self-dependent enough to run the city government. We don't have enough sources for generating funds. So the corporations cannot run on their own.
The only gymnasium in Barisal city