|Uttara Model Town
|• Ward Commissioner||Dr. Hafizul Islam Kusum|
|• Total||36.91 km2 (14.25 sq mi)|
|Elevation||23 m (75 ft)|
|• Density||9,350/km2 (24,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||BST (UTC+6)|
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.
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) project is now underway.
At 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).
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, Nandan Megashop, Meena Bazar and Shwapno have outlets 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. These include George's Cafe, Mainland China, Mesquitte Grill, Kabab Factory and many others.
Being in close proximity to the international airport, Uttara has 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.
Travel to and from Uttara
The Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway, is the largest highway in the city is a north-south highway pierces Uttara through its middle. The Airport Road is the only road that connects Uttara with the rest of Dhaka.
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 northernmost parts of Dhaka city, were not linked by any form of direct transportation link. Between the two areas, there was a large uninhabited 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 renovation work-in-progress. All streets in Uttara are wide enough for two cars to pass. Walkways exist on broader roads; alleyways do not have any walkways.
Just like any other residential area in Dhaka, Uttara has a high number of educational institutions. They include:
- Upazilas of Bangladesh
- Districts of Bangladesh
- Divisions of Bangladesh
- Uttara Model Town (3rd Phase)
- Dhaka South City Corporation: SiteMap. Dhakacity.org.
- "Geographic coordinates of Dhaka, Bangladesh". DATEANDTIME.INFO. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
- "Bangladesh – Dhaka Statistical Metropolitan Area". Retrieved 6 July 2011.
- "Population Census Wing, BBS.". Archived from the original on 27 March 2005. Retrieved 10 November 2006.
- "Our offices." United Airways. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
- English-Medium Schools. Student-wish.com.
- "Contact Details." Oxford International School. Retrieved on 20 September 2015. "Uttara Campus House-40, Gausul Azam Avenue, Sector-13, Uttara, Dhaka-1230"