Ensure housing for all: Speakers

Participants of a webinar underscored the need for ensuring housing for all to attain the developed country status by 2041.


The recommendation came from a virtual meeting titled ‘Housing for all: The developed city of the future’ organised by Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) marking the World Habitat Day-2020.


BIP President Dr Akter Mahmud presided over the function while its General Secretary Dr Adil Muhammad Khan moderated it. Buet lecturer Tasnim Tarannum Isaba read out the keynote paper.


The planners urged all concerned to make coordinated efforts to ensure safe and habitable residence for the people.


National Housing Authority Chairman Md Delwar Haider, addressing the programme as the chief guest, said they do not have enough budget allocation to ensure housing for all.


“We get only 0.2 or 0.3 percent allocation in the national budget to ensure housing but that’s insufficient compared to our population,” he said.


Haider noted that many people try to exercise their influence during allocation of housing. So, the lower income people don’t get proper allocation here.


“The government officials are influenced by political leaders because the employees are committed to fulfilling manifestos of the political parties,” he added.


He said those who are able to pay house rent get housing facilities but a huge number of poor people are deprived.


Haider said the government is working to ensure housing for all. We’ve already completed 566 flats as pilot project. It will construct 1,000 flats for slum dwellers within a short time.


Noted planner Mohammad Ghulam Mortaza said the government should be strict in following all rules and regulations.


“A rickshaw puller pays taxes but he doesn’t get a plot unlike an MP. We’ve to ensure housing for all,” he added.


Planner Dr Chowdhury Md Jaber Sadek said there is no alternative to ensuring housing for all to attain developed country’s status by 2041.


The World Habitat Day-2020 was observed in the country as elsewhere in the world in a bid to raise awareness among people about safe and habitable residence for all.


The United Nations designated the first Monday of October as the World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. The theme of this year is ‘housing for all: a better urban future’.


Source: United News of Bangladesh