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Bangladesh - 2 weeks ago

Government Implements ‘Transfer of Development Rights’ to Safeguard Agricultural Lands

Industry Desk: The Government of Bangladesh has launched the ‘Transfer of Development Right (TDR)’ initiative, similar to those in developed countries, to safeguard agricultural lands, three-crop fields, and reservoirs outlined in the Detailed Area Plan (DAP) (2022-2035).

Under the TDR system, landowners of agricultural areas will receive shares or permissions to construct buildings in other developable parts of the city. This mechanism aims to preserve agricultural land while allowing for urban development, according to an official document.
TDR program balances the asset value for landowners by transferring the right to build from environmentally protected areas to development-encouraged zones, the document states. The overall number of homes remains unchanged, thus ensuring compensation for landowners in restricted areas without affecting profits elsewhere.

At the recent Deputy Commissioners’ conference, directives were issued to ensure the conservation of three-crop lands during land acquisitions for development projects. “Strict legal action will follow if complaints arise,” the document warned.
Districts under divisions including Rajshahi, Chattogram, Khulna, Barishal, Sylhet, Rangpur, and Mymensingh have been instructed to avoid selecting three-crop lands for housing or other development purposes. These lands are rigorously monitored by district and upazila administrations to prevent misuse.
The document highlighted measures taken, such as denying permission for pond digging in three-crop lands and raising public awareness through mass campaigns. Regular mobile court operations are conducted to prevent illegal activities, with offenders being arrested and fined.

The proposed Land Zoning and Protection Act of 2024 will further ensure that three-crop lands are used solely for agriculture. Meanwhile, development authorities under the Ministry of Housing and Public Works are preparing master plans to preserve these lands.

A draft position paper by the Department of Urban Development underscores the ecological damage caused by unplanned industrial establishments and the loss of valuable agricultural lands. A comprehensive land use plan for Bangladesh is being developed based on this paper.
With this framework, unauthorized housing and pond digging in designated three-crop lands can be stopped, the document says.

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