Making Dhaka Livable

Dhaka City. Source: Sandeep Menon Photography, Flickr.

Dhaka City. Source: Sandeep Menon Photography, Flickr.

Making Dhaka Livable 

by Humayun Kabir for

Dhaka has been once again deemed by the Economist as the second least livable city in the world.  Damascus came in last only because of the civil war that is tearing the city apart.  If the civil war were to stop today, Damascus would become imminently more livable than Dhaka tomorrow.  Regardless of our opinion of the Economist or its survey, I don’t think any of us would disagree that living conditions of Dhaka are horrid and are in dire need of improvement.  In this article I will try to suggest a few ways to improve Dhaka’s livability.  However, before doing so let me say a few words in defense of Dhaka and about the dangers of drawing up schemes for improvement. Continue reading

Faruk Wasif: The Sahibs of Begum Para and the turtles that sell the country

“’Second Home’: The Sahibs of Begam Para and the Turtles that Sell the Country”
by Faruk Wasif for Prothom Alo, translated for by Nusrat Chowdhury [please do not reproduce w/o permission]

If one asked which animal carries its own home on its back, the answers would be, 1. a turtle; 2. a Chinese farmer; and, 3. a few thousand wealthy Bangladeshis. Continue reading

Rana Plaza built on land grabbed from Rabindranath Sarkar

Rabindranath Sarkar

“Journalist brother. You are a Hindu, I am a Hindu. Please don’t do any more harm to me. You know, how Hindus have to live in this country. Rana Plaza collapsed on top of my house and office. Four of my staff and three of my house help died. After the accident, goods were looted from my house. I can’t even go into my own house.” Continue reading

Savar: Total eclipse of the state

Alal O Dulal collects  different views on rescue operations.

£45-a-month hero amputated girl's hand to save her from factory carnage

Didar Hossain visits Aanna Akhtar in hospital Photo: David Bergman

Blogger Nazrul: “Savar is being rescued by the common people of this country– from [religious] huzur to heavy metal listening punk kid; from scarf wearing girl to super mod girl, from lungi and torn genji wearing  low-income labor to shirt-pant wearing bhadralok. Everyone is here to help others. Human is for human, they proved it again today. Continue reading

10 Monster Traffic Jams

Dhaka makes it to BBC’s “10 monster traffic jams from around the world” list.

Dhaka jam

“Dhaka is arguably the most densely populated city in the world. It lacks a mass transit system or a major freeway to support the 15 million people who live and work here. A 15km ride in an auto-rickshaw can take two to three hours in heavy traffic, during which one often has to contend with dust, exhaust fumes, extreme heat and noise pollution. Traffic laws aren’t usually enforced and vehicles move in an terrifying dance routine. –Joshua Martin, Dhaka”
Full list here

Dhaka moves to #1 in Least Liveable City Index

Dhaka is ranked least liveable among 140 surveyed cities. Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Livability Survey ranked Dhaka 139 in 2011, and 140 in 2012.

DOWNLOAD: EIU Liveability Report 2012

DOWNLOAD: Spatially Adjusted Index Report [Dhaka ranks 2 better on this]

Least livable cities: 2012
131. Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
132. Tehran, Iran
133. Douala, Cameroon
134. Tripoli, Libya
135. Karachi, Pakistan
136. Algiers, Algeria
137. Harare, Zimbabwe
138. Lagos, Nigeria
139. Port Moresby, Papua New Guineau
140. Dhaka, Bangladesh

Least livable cities: 2011
131. Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
132. Tehran, Iran
133. Douala, Cameroon
134. Karachi, Pakistan
135. Tripoli, Libya
136. Algiers, Algeria
137. Lagos, Nigeria
138. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
139. Dhaka, Bangladesh
140. Harare, Zimbabwe
Continue reading