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Dhaka is located in central Bangladesh, on the eastern banks of the Buriganga River. The city lies on the lower reaches of the Ganges Delta and covers a total area of 360 square kilometers. Tropical vegetation and moist soils characterise the land, which is flat and close to sea level.

During the last 25 years or so Dhaka city has undergone rapid urbanization in an unplanned manner. Urbanisation, without considering the geological aspects is leaving a significant impact on the geo-environment. Water logging, pollution, changes in hydro-geological system, and building collapse are the severe consequences of the changes brought about by uncontrolled urbanisation.

Once cradled by rivers on at least three sides, the relevant authorities have done nothing to stop the loss of rivers around Dhaka. The Turag, Balu, and Burigonga have been long-suffering. The latter’s foreshores and adjoining wetlands have been lost due to mindless earth-filling by a number of private housing companies. More than a thousand acres in Dhaka and its surroundings have been illegally occupied by 21 developers.

The parliamentary standing committee on the Land Ministry recently learned that the East West Property Development Limited (EWDL) had illegally seized 224.33 acres near the Badda Police Station area in Dhaka. The land has been divided into plots and sold. It was also learnt that over 131 acres of land is being occupied by the Basundhara Group. It’s obvious that we need new houses for the increasing number of people living in the city, but this should not come at the cost of the city itself.