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Weather news of all over the world.

Nov 15

Flood Risks Rises in Dhaka

Filed under Bangladesh Local, Weather

Mindful of the mega-floods that have ravaged Bangladesh in recent decades, the government has introduced tougher measures to protect the capital Dhaka as part of plans to expand the city.

The final stage of the metropolitan development scheme, the Detailed Area Plan (DAP), was passed by the cabinet in late June and has now entered into force. It sets out strict guidelines on land-use policies, which have been hailed by environmentalists but face stiff opposition from large real estate companies.

Many firms have already invested millions of dollars in areas the plan designates as “protected” flood-flow zones. These are large tracts of low-lying agricultural land adjacent to rivers that absorb excess water during floods and high tides.

The DAP also puts in place measures to improve the city’s environmental quality, including protecting water reservoirs and cleaning up canals and rivers, many of which have become blocked with encroaching slums or contaminated with rubbish and other forms of pollution.

Bangladesh already has relevant national legislation including the Wetlands Protection Act of 1997 and the Open Space Protection Act of 2000. But the DAP identifies exactly which areas such laws apply to in the greater metropolitan region of Dhaka.

The Bangladeshi capital is the fastest growing of the world’s top 10 mega-cities, according to the World Bank’s former country director Zhu Xian. Its population – now 13 million people – is rising by 9 percent each year, and it is the nation’s economic heart, accounting for 40 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

“Therefore, its survival is essential both for the economy and the people of the country,” Zhu said.

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