|Uttara Model Town
|— Thana —|
|• Ward Commissioner||Dr. Hafizul Islam Kusum|
|• Total||36.91 km2 (14.25 sq mi)|
|• Density||9,350/km2 (24,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||BST (UTC+6)|
|Website||Official Map of the Uttara Thana|
Uttara Model Town or simply Uttara (Bengali: উত্তরা) is a northern Thana and a suburb of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. The name derives from the Bengali word ut'tar meaning "north". It lies on the road to Gazipur, and adjoins Shahjalal International Airport.
Uttara is primarily planned square grid residential suburb, geographically elevated from southern Dhaka saving it from floods, and is divided into several "sectors". It can be said that Uttara is far from the congestion and pollution of Dhaka. Indeed, well into the 1990s, Uttara retained its quiet, leafy suburban character. In recent years, with the increasing influx of people moving in from the city, Uttara has evolved into a bustling town, similar to other areas of Dhaka such as Gulshan, Mohakhali, Banani, Mirpur, Mohammadpur or Dhanmondi. The suburb is well-served by a proliferation of shopping complexes, shops, and schools & colleges.
Sectors of Uttara
Uttara is planned by RAJUK and divided into 14 sectors, starting from sector 1 to sector 14. Originally it was planned that the odd-numbered sectors (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) were to be situated on the west side of Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway, and the even-numbered sectors (2, 4, 6, 8) on the east side. Due to increase in population, new sectors were planned but this order was not upheld and they were all developed on the west side.Uttara Residential Area (3rd Phase) is now under going.
The middle class demography has attracted the establishment of market complexes like Rajlaxmi Complex, Amir Complex, RAJUK Commercial Complex, Uttara Tower, H.M. Plaza and the likes. The increase in the upper middle class population gave rise to demand for shopping outlets, giving rise to shopping centres like North Tower, Polwel Carnation, Mascot Plaza, Tropical Alaudin Tower, and RAK Tower.
Local supermarket chains such as Agora, Shop 'n Save, Nandan Megashop, Meena Bazar, Shwapno and Family Needs operate in Uttara. Also, the leading American car manufacturer Ford has its showroom situated in Abdullahpur. Aarong has its 36,000 square feet (3,300 m2) flagship outlet on the Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway. In addition to local fast food chains, many international, ice cream and coffee chains are in Uttara.
Being in close proximity to the international airport, Uttara has a many hotels and bed-and-breakfasts as well.
Uttara also hosts multiple community centres such as White Hall, Ishti Kutum, Momotaz Malal, Polwel Community Center, Great Hall, etc. They host many different occasions such as weddings, receptions, birthdays and various ceremonies.
Just like any other residential area in Dhaka, Uttara has a high number of educational institutions. They include:
- Armed Police Battalion High School
- Aga Khan School, Dhaka
- Asian University
- Bangladesh International Tutorial (BIT)
- Blooming Flower School
- Belmont International School
- Child Plan School
- Daffodil International University
- Delhi Public School
- Don Bosco School and College
- Heritage International College
- Euro International School
- International Turkish Hope School, Dhaka
- International University of Business Agriculture & Technology
- Heritage International College of Aviation Science and Management
- MaHaad International School
- Mastermind School
- Medical College for Women and Hospital
- Mileshium School
- Milestone College
- Nabab Habibullah School
- Red Brick School
- Rajuk Uttara Model College
- Scholastica school
- Shanto Mariam University of Creative Technology
- South Breeze School
- Sunbeams School
- Time International Academy
- Uttara High School
- Uttara University
- The Headway School
- Kids Campus School
Streets and travel
Travel to and from Uttara
The Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway, also called Airport Road, Dhaka, is the largest highway in the city is a north-south highway pierces Uttara through its middle, and is the only highway that connects Uttara to the rest of the nation.
Being the northernmost thana of the Dhaka metropolitan area, Uttara serves as one of the few exits of Dhaka city. Travelers exiting Uttara to outside the city will use any local buses or even taxis for short distance travels to neighboring Tongi and Gazipur northbound on the Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway; long-haul travellers to northern Bangladesh will take coaches and exit northbound as well. Travelers entering the city centre can take buses, taxis or CNG-driven three-wheelers southbound on the highway. Travelers coming towards Uttara from within the city must travel on any bus that travels through Khilkhet and the airport to Uttara. Travelers coming to Uttara from northern Bangladesh must board a coach that enters Dhaka via Abdullahpur/Tongi, as most buses enter Dhaka city from the Gabtoli entry. Travelers coming from southern Bangladesh to Uttara must disembark at their designated stops and board a local bus to Uttara.
The nearest railway station to Uttara is located opposite to the airport, and is called the Airport Rail Station.
As of 2010, Uttara and Mirpur, two of the northermost parts of Dhaka city, were not linked by any form of direct transportation link. Between the two areas, there was a large uninhabitated swamp. This is to be changed as a bridge is being constructed between the two areas. The project is to be completed by 2013 and it will allow buses to travel from Uttara to Mirpur and vice-versa in roughly under twenty minutes.
Travel within Uttara
Travel within Uttara is possible on rickshaws, although rickshaws are not allowed to cross the highway. Travelers intending to travel from one side of the highway to the other must use one of the four overpasses located across Scholastica school, Rajlaxmi Complex, Amir Complex and the Mascot Plaza, but a significant number of pedestrians dangerously cross the 8-lane highway
Streets in sector 1 get submerged under water during light rainfall. Streets in sectors 7, 10 and 14 are mostly in bad shape owing to work-in-progress renovation. All streets in Uttara are wide enough for two cars to pass. Walkways exist on broader roads; alleyways do not have any walkways.
As of the 2001 Bangladesh census, Uttara had a population of 345,097. According to 1991 figures, males constitute 54.41% of the population and females 45.59%, and about 60% of the thana's population are adults. Uttara has an average literacy rate of 61% (7+ years).
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