Bangladesh Parliament splits Dhaka in two parts?

Parliament has passed the bill to split the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) into two separate entities.

Last Updated: Nov 29, 2011, 22:32 PM IST

Dhaka: Unfazed by opposition criticism, Bangladesh`s parliament on Tuesday a law to split the capital Dhaka`s century-old municipal corporation into two parts to provide better governance.

The ruling Awami League lawmakers alone were present as the parliament endorsed the bill in voice votes passing the Local Government (City Corporation) (Amendment) Bill 2011, which also includes provision for holding polls within 90 days of the bifurcation.

Parliament has passed the bill to split the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) into two separate entities amidst protests by the opposition outside.

"The population of Dhaka city has increased to more than one crore. In this situation, it is very difficult
to provide services for the huge population by one city corporation. The city inhabitants are not getting the desired services and civic amenities," read the bill justifying the split.

The development came as main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist party (BNP) threatened to wage tough street protests as they continued to boycott the house as part of their anti-government campaign.

The more than 400-year old Dhaka found its first formal municipal body Dhaka Municipality in 1864 while its status was elevated as City Corporation in 1978.

The area of the City Corporation at present is about 360 square kilometers.

The government decision to divide DCC also sparked violent protests as hundreds of its employees yesterday clashed with armed police as a parliamentary standing committee gave its nod to the government decision.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina`s ruling Awami League government last month decided to slice corporation to extend better civic services to the residents.

But local government experts and governance analysts said the decision was unlikely to yield the expected result while BNP called it a decision of "narrow political convenience" to defeat the opposition`s nominee for the mayoral post in the next mayoral election.

PTI