Dhaka City Corporation
|Dhaka City Corporation
ঢাকা সিটি কর্পোরেশন
|Founded||August 1, 1864|
|25 April 2002|
Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) is the former self-governing corporation that is associated with the task of running the affairs of the city of Dhaka. The incorporated area is divided into several wards. Each ward has an elected ward commissioner. The mayor of the city is elected by popular vote every five years, although the last mayoral election took place in 2002. The Corporation was dissolved by the Local Government (City Corporation) Amendment Bill 2011 on November 29, 2011, passed in the Parliament of Bangladesh, and formally ceased to exist on December 1, 2011 following the President's approval, making way for a North and South city corporation.
Dhaka City Corporation was established as the Dacca Municipality on August 1, 1864. The first elected chairman was Ananda Chandra Roy. Prior to that, a Committee for the improvement of Dacca was formed in 1823. The Act of 1884 added the provision of elected representatives called commissioners. In 1978, it gained status as Dhaka Municipality Corporation, and in 1990, it became Dhaka City Corporation. It is divided into 90 wards. In 1982, two adjoining municipalities—Mirpur and Gulshan—were merged with Dhaka Municipality. In 1983, it was renamed as Dhaka Municipal Corporation. Finally, in 1990, it was renamed as Dhaka City Corporation. Until 1994, mayors were appointed by the Government. The first elected mayor by popular vote took office in 1994. Sadeque Hossain Khoka is the incumbent mayor, after being elected in 2002.
The Awami League government on 29 November 2011 dissolved the Dhaka City Corporation by the Local Government (City Corporation) Amendment Bill 2011 passed by the Parliament of Bangladesh after being placed in the Parliament on November 23. The city corporation will be split into two corporations, North and South, with the southern wing holding more territory than the north. Each corporation will be a self-governing entity, thus giving the city of Dhaka two mayors. The government holds that bifurcation would ensure better quality of civic services to the denizens of the city.
Dhaka North City Corporation
Dhaka North City Corporation consists of 36 wards covering the thanas of Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Sher-E-Bangla Nagar, Pallabi, Adabor, Kafrul, Dhaka Cantonment, Gulshan, Banani, Badda, Uttara & some others.
Dhaka South City Corporation
Dhaka South City Corporation consists of 56 wards covering the thanas of Dhaka Kotwali, Motijheel, Sutrapur, Ramna, Bangsal, Wari, Gendaria, Chwokbazar, Lalbagh, Hazaribagh, Dhanmondi, Shahbagh, New Market, Khilgaon, Kamrangirchar & some others.
Opposition to the dissolution
The split was condemned by opposition party BNP, and some citizens, and even by members of the incumbent government. Incumbent mayor Khoka (who loses his seat once the gazette of the bill is published) of BNP promised that he would not contest the next city elections if the government would let the city not be split. He also promised that the split will be scraped once BNP returns to power. Incumbent councilors as well as staff of the former City Corporation went on strike if the bill was passed. Protesting staff of the Corporation were met with an armed police force.
There were calls by some for a referendum before the split was made.
Since only the corporations are being split without a split in service providing agencies, this may give rise to a messy situation with a bureaucratic bottleneck, causing coordination failure amongst the services provided to the citizens. Some have suggested that the creation of two corporations will result in a greater payment in taxpaying money for administrative expenses, without a guarantee of improvement in civic services.
Since the Constitution of Bangladesh defines Dhaka the capital of Bangladesh, legal experts believe that the law may be challenged as a violation of the constitution. To this end, Khoka filed a writ petition at the High Court challenging the new law after it was passed; the court, in turn, asked the government to show cause as to why the split wasn't illegal or unconstitutional.
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