Mahfuja Mukul: Overall development of the country is not possible without village development. From this realization, the government has taken the initiative to implement the ‘My Village-My City’ action plan to extend the facilities of modern city to every village. Various ministries are implementing 245 projects to make it a reality.
Those concerned say that 26 organizations of the 20 ministries of the government are involved in the implementation of the action plan ‘My Village-My City’. These ministries are implementing 245 projects to implement the action plan ‘My Village – My City’. It is coordinated by the local government department.
A high-level committee headed by the Minister of Local Government Department is coordinating the implementation of the inter-ministerial project on ‘My Village-My City’. Three meetings of this committee were held in the last financial year and 24 projects of different ministries were reviewed and various plans were discussed to implement ‘Amar Gram-Amar Sahar’.
Those concerned say that under LGED, there are a total of 1 lakh 29 thousand kilometers of upazila roads, union roads and village roads in the country. Villages which are still out of road connectivity are being collected and considered with utmost importance. Road design standards have been revised due to the growth of the country’s economy and the increase in the movement of heavy vehicles on rural roads.
Officials of the local government department said that market space is needed to market the agricultural products of the village in the city, similarly space is needed in the market for the consumer goods of the city to reach the villages. There are 2100 growth centers and 15 thousand 555 rural markets across the country. A project is underway at a cost of Tk 1,730 crore to build modern expanded market in all upazilas of the country.
An action plan of the Local Government Department has been released to implement the ‘My Village – My City’ election promise in 2020. It contains eight topics related to local government departments.
The topics are – Rural Communication, Rural Growth Center and Hat Bazaar, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation, Waste Management, Community Space and Recreational System, Upazila Master Plan, Rural Housing and Capacity Building of Upazila Parishad-Union Parishad.
In this action plan approved by the Prime Minister, 30 guidelines-policies are being prepared and 36 surveys are being conducted to implement the ‘Amar Gram-Amar Sehar’ pledge across the country in eight subjects. In addition to this, a project of 15 pilot village development is being prepared to develop the country’s villages in a planned manner keeping in view the vision of 2041.
Villages in plains districts in Bangladesh have village-to-village connectivity. Some villages have no direct road connectivity due to lack of bridges. Most of LGED’s projects involve development of intra-village roads or upgradation of previously constructed roads. About 4200 villages of Haor-Char-hilly areas have no road connectivity. A study has been undertaken to improve the connectivity of these villages which will also consider multimodal transport and other issues.
Rural Growth Center
Rural Growth Center and Hatbazar are the heart of rural economy. According to the vision of 2041 to build a developed country, planned development of growth centers-hat markets is necessary to transmit more economic growth to the rural economy. For this reason, this survey and guidelines have been taken for the planning of rural Hatbazar capable of creating more jobs centered on Growth Center-Hatbazar and providing high income-middle income economy.
There were 1400 growth centers in the 80s, 2100 in the 90s. There is a study on the need to increase the number of growth centers in the implementation of developed country 2041, setting priorities and planning growth center infrastructure.
There is a severe lack of playgrounds and community spaces in the village. It is said that there is no playground without school grounds. Since most of the land has three crops, it is not possible to play in the land. The provision of children’s playgrounds in villages is possible through planned design and development of school grounds. In many villages, local people are willing to donate land for playgrounds, community spaces. A framework needs to be created for government investment in further development in these areas.
There is an acute shortage of land in the upazilas. In order to implement the promise of the election manifesto, there are initiatives of various ministries to build mini stadium, indoor stadium, public library, community center, theater, youth recreation center etc. in the upazila. In this case, it is necessary to take integrated initiatives and formulate integrated designs. Apart from this, there are various opportunities for development of parks and public spaces in the upazila. There are studies to develop frameworks for public space development using these structures.
Upazila Master Plan
Due to the lack of capacity to prepare upazila masterplans in the country, it is not possible to prepare more than 8-10 masterplans every year. In this way, it may take 30-40 years to complete the master plan of all the upazilas of the country. In this context, a study has been undertaken to verify whether there is an opportunity to prepare 50-100 upazila master plans per year by customizing the current method of masterplan preparation.
Rural Development Academy, Bogra is implementing rural housing projects in three districts of the country (Bogra, Rangpur, Gopalganj). On the other hand, the National Housing Authority has taken up the scheme of allotment of plots for the construction of planned housing in 11 upazila headquarters of the country. There are various studies on compact housing development in villages. There are various ambiguities regarding its practical implementation, financing, land resources.
Rural water supply
The country has problems with salinity in coastal areas, arsenic in nearly two hundred upazilas and water level in Barendra area. Sanitation, water supply in Haor, hilly areas have various challenges. 2 guidelines have been prepared and 8 surveys have been taken on these issues.
In some of the country’s unions, waste management needs to be taken on an urgent basis under the management of councils. In addition to this, it is necessary to develop the framework of waste management in all the unions of the country. A guideline has been prepared and 5 surveys have been undertaken.
Upazila and Union Parishad capacity building
It is necessary to increase the capacity of Upazila-Union Parishads across the country to implement ‘Amar Gram – Amar Sehar’. If local government institutions are not properly functioning, expanding citizen services at the field level will not be easy. For this reason, a survey is being conducted to increase the capacity and effectiveness of the Upazila-Union Parishad.
Abul Manjur, director of technical support project “Amar Gram-Amar Sehar” said about these. Sadek told, “26 organizations are working to implement Amar Gram-Amar Sehar.” 245 projects of those organizations are associated with it. Amar Gram-Amar Shagar is a vision of a better Bangladesh in 2041. According to the vision of 2041, what will a developed Bangladesh look like, I am doing a huge study on how to improve the current rural conditions.
We have targeted eight areas and studied them. Those studies are almost over. We have taken the views from the participants, will coordinate them and give the study report. Through this, the implementation of the ‘My Village-My City’ action plan will be easy.
In this regard, Local Government Minister Tajul Islam said, ‘My village, my city, is the promise of the Prime Minister. By implementing this promise, the villages will get electricity, clean water, modern sewage system, education system will improve, health system will improve, communication system will improve.
Agricultural management will be modern and profitable. Employment will be created, banking system will expand. Market management will be modernized. All the management that people need for an overall better life will be done there. It is a long-term project, the project will continue for a long time.
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