An empowered city government needed for Well-planned City
speakers said at a workshop on Equitable Economic Growth in Sylhet

SCC workshop

Participants at a workshop on Equitable Economic Growth in Sylhet City demanded to build Sylhet a planned city through the implementation of master plan prepared by Professor Jamilur Reza Chowdhury. The participants also demanded ensuring clean, healthy and hygienic environment, making open space for playground and other entertainment facilities. They also urged to make the citizens aware regarding their rights and responsibilities. They felt the need for an empowered city government to fulfill the aspirations of city dwellers.

The kick-off workshop was held under the joint work programme titled Promoting Equitable Economic Growth in Cities as part of a global campaign. BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University and Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) with the support of Cities Alliance based in Brussels, jointly organized the workshop on May 24, 2017 in Sylhet.

Attending as the Chief Guest, Mayor Ariful Haq Chowdhury said that the public representatives allied with the ruling party get support from the Government but the other representatives do not and now it has become a culture which needs to be changed. Coordination and cooperation among the public offices and government organizations is essential before empowering the city corporation, he added. He proposed for a monthly coordination meeting and said that without coordination and cooperation, it is impossible to complete a single task.

Ajay Suri, Asian Regional Advisor, Cities Alliance; Consultant Dr. K. Rajivan, Dr. Shanawez Hossain, Research Fellow, BIGD and Team Leader of the Project; Mr. Sarwar Jahan Chowdhury, Head of Operations, BIGD; Engineer Ruhul Alam, Chief Engineer, Sylhet City Corporation also delivered their speeches in the event. The programme was moderated by BIGD’s Research Associate S M Gubair Bin Arafat.

Advocate Irfanujjaman Chowdhury, President, Committee of Concerned Citizens (CCC); Aminul Islam Chowdhury, Sammilita Sangskritic Jote; Nasim Hossain, Sylhet City President of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP); senior politician Barrister Aarash Ali; Gourango Patro, President, Adivasi Forum (Forum of Ethnic People); Professor Tahmina Islam, Department of Social Work, Shahajalal University of Science and Technology; senior journalist Ahmed Nur; City Corporation Counselor Sahanara Begum, Dinar Khan and others also shared their valued opinion and suggestions regarding different problems of the city and their short term and long term solutions.

Recognizing the roles of cities and the challenges they present in developing countries, the Cities Alliance, a global partnership for urban poverty reduction and hosted by the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), and BIGD have embarked on this project. The goals of this project are (i) to promote equitable access to public goods and services in context of cities’ specific needs and (ii) support growth trajectories increasingly characterized by equity, inclusion and environmental sustainability.

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