1531Published on January 26, 2020
Atiqul Islam, Awami League-backed candidate seeking reelection as mayor of Dhaka North, has promised to transform the capital into a 'healthy, vibrant and modern' city in his manifesto for the upcoming elections on Feb 1.
He rolled out a 38-point manifesto at a media briefing on Sunday, outlining plans to institute a coordinated 'vector management' system to fight the mosquito menace and introduce an electric bus service to curb air pollution in the city.
Atiqul, who won the by-polls to late DNCC mayor Annisul Huq's post in February 2019, had served in office for eight months. He solicited support from voters to press ahead with the initiatives that he has started already.
The 54 wards under the DNCC house more than 3 million voters, who will choose their mayor for the next five years from a pool of six candidates.
Atiqul identified the mosquito-borne dengue disease as the biggest challenge during his previous run as Dhaka North's mayor.
In his election manifesto, he pledged to continue the fight against the mosquito menace throughout the year if re-elected. He also plans to address the city's problems in coordination with the Dhaka South City Corporation, Ministry of Health, Dhaka WASA, neighbouring city corporations and other government bodies.
Experts have long been pointing to a lack of effective waste management as a major obstacle to the modernisation of Dhaka.
According to Atiqul, the neighbourhoods of DNCC alone will create 5,200 tonnes of waste per day in 2021 and incineration is the only viable method of dealing with the waste.
His manifesto therefore carries the promise of establishing a resource-recovery facility in Aminbazar near Dhaka to dispose of the waste in a planned way before transforming it into fuel as part of a sustainable waste management scheme.
Atiqul also plans to introduce electric buses in Dhaka in order to reduce air pollution which has escalated over the past two years due to ongoing development projects.
Earlier, he spoke about the business policy, financial system and institutionalisation of the public transport sector in light of the city's traffic situation. He also stressed the need to ban rickshaws from plying the major thoroughfares in the capital to ease traffic congestions.
Atiqul’s election manifesto includes major plans to revamp the public transport sector.
These include the construction of area-based pedestrian-friendly pavements offering access to people with special needs, reduction of traffic congestions through coordinated efforts by all stakeholders, installation of digital push-button signals at different points in the city to ensure safe pedestrian crossing, introducing digital e-ticketing services, special transport for school- and college-goers, ensuring access to public structures and public transports for people with special needs and establishing parking lots, among others.
He noted that encroached canals in the city work as the breeding grounds for mosquitoes and also cause waterlogging. He highlighted his initiative to recover some of these canals from encroachers last year and promised to continue the drive if reelected.
A tree clinic, veterinary clinic and modern slaughterhouse will be constructed at the city corporation’s land in Mirpur, said Atiqul. He also promised to construct an adequate number of public toilets in the capital.