Md Hasanuzzaman

Dhaka is our capital and only megacity in our country. Do you know what is Megacity?

Megacity is called that city where 10 million or more people live.

A Professor Emeritus of ICDDR, B’s Centre for Population Urbanisation and Climate Change, Streatfield said Dhaka was now the 11th largest with 17 million people and “will be sixth largest in 2030 with 27 million.” (“Dhaka will be sixth largest mega city in 2030: scientist”, 2014)

Including metropolitan, city corporation area total Dhaka city area is 1463.60 sq. km. (“Dhaka City – Capital of Bangladesh,” 2015)

As you can see in a small area a huge 17 million people live in which is over population. Without this so many problems make Dhaka City unsuitable for living.



Traffic jam in Dhaka

Fig 1:  Traffic jam in Dhaka suddenly ‘turned horrific’ (Dhaka Tribune, 2018)

  1. Traffic Jam: Due to over population the number of vehicles is increased. For this reason the roads are blocked with vehicles and traffic jam occurred. Nowadays, Dhaka is so much jam prone that 15 minutes road distance takes 1 hour.

According to a World Bank report, in the last 10 years, the average traffic speed in Dhaka has dropped from 21 kilometres per hour (kmph) to 7 kmph, and by 2035, the speed might drop to 4 kmph, which is slower than the walking speed. A survey by the Passengers’ Welfare Association revealed that at least 87 percent of buses and minibuses violate traffic rules. (Haider, 2018)

  1. Air, water and noise pollution: With a huge population and infrastructures, lack of space people throw waste, filth everywhere including fresh river, side of apartment or restaurant. So, the air is become polluted become warmer. Again Vehicles horn and sound make noise pollution.

A report published by the Clean Air and Sustainable Environment (CASE) Project under the Department of Environment showed that the AQI of Dhaka stood at 387 on January 28, 2018. The index terms the air quality of Dhaka is extremely unhealthy, as the city consistently ranks between 301 to 500 range. (“Dhaka most polluted city in the world,” 2018)


 Fig 2: Pollution in Dhaka City River (Islam, 2017)

Fig 2: Pollution in Dhaka City River (Islam, 2017)

  1. Risk of earthquake: As numbers of people are larger than the area, so peoples are forced to make apartment higher. Due to make higher apartment most constructor doesn’t maintain building code, engineering construction and proper planning.

Prof Humayun said Dhaka city would be the worst affected zone if adequate preparations are not taken immediately.

“The government is taking preparations. But we all know the pace of the preparation. Even if the earthquake hits after 20 years, it wouldn’t be enough time for Dhaka to take proper preparation,” he said. (“Dhaka at risk of mega quake”, 2016)

Fig 3: Earthquake in Dhaka (Textile Today, 2018)

Fig 3: Earthquake in Dhaka (Textile Today, 2018)

  1. Centralization: Most of our countries industries, job sectors, administration buildings, higher educational and medical institute etc. are situated in Dhaka City. People are being dependent on Dhaka. So, people want to move in Dhaka for better lifestyle and livelihood. This makes the population growth uncontrolled.
  2. High price: Due to more demand of things and as a megacity the price of all things is so much high.
  3. Psychological problems: Because of having less space children can’t play outside. They have to stay at home all day long. Not only children but also adults face this problem. So frustration, loneliness and other psychological problems are being occurred day by day.


Possible Solutions

  1. Decentralization: This is the best and proper solution to reduce the population and space problem in Dhaka. Government must take a proper plan of creating all important educational, medical institution, job sectors, industries etc. everywhere in Bangladesh. In this way, there will be several dependable city in Bangladesh without Dhaka where people can move. In this way, population density of Dhaka will be in a tolerable level.
  2. Maintain proper traffic law: Traffic police have to implement traffic law and ban unlicensed vehicles. Government organizations should give proper training to drivers.
  3. Throwing waste in a certain place: People should throw waste in dustbin, waste bank or municipal vehicles. Government can make a law about waste and take action to move away river
  4. Engineering construction: Constructor must follow building code, engineering instructions to build an apartment, land waste.
  5. Planning urbanization: Government have to take a long term master plan for institutional, residential, industrial area.
  6. Create job opportunities for unemployed people: Government organizations have to create various job opportunities, training for unemployed peoples.
  7. Create open space, playground, park etc.: Then government have to take action for replacing degraded area, slums, old constructed infrastructure into playground, park or open space. Then the government give the facilities of those people who lived in here to live in newly planned urban area.



Today Dhaka City is becoming unhealthy place for living. It is time to take proper steps for making our Megacity habitable. All environment researcher and mostly government should think about this quickly.



  1. Dhaka will be sixth largest mega city in 2030: scientist. (2014, December 9). Bd News. Retrieved from January 4, 2019
  2. Dhaka City – Capital of Bangladesh – Dhaka Population And Area. (2015, February 11). Media Bangladesh. Retrieved from January 4, 2019
  3. Haider, A. (2018, May 13). Traffic jam: The ugly side of Dhaka’s development. Dhaka, Bangladesh: The Daily Star. Retrieved from January 4, 2019
  4. Dhaka most polluted city in the world. (2018, January 30). Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved from January 4, 2019
  5. Dhaka at risk of mega quake. (2016, July 13). The Daily Star. Retrieved from January 4, 2019

Fig 1: Dhaka Tribune (January 29th, 2018) Traffic jam in Dhaka suddenly ‘turned horrific’. Dhaka, Bangladesh: Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved from January 4, 2019 Copyright by 2012-2018. 2A Media Limited

Fig 2: Islam, R. (January 25, 2017) Pollution in the river Buriganga, one of the main sources of water for Dhaka. Retrieved from January 4, 2019×680.jpg CC BY-NC-ND

Fig 3: Textile Today (April 22, 2018) Rana-Plaza-2013. Retrieved from January 4, 2019 Copyright by 2018 – Textile Today


Md. Hasanuzzaman

Centre for Disaster Aid (CDA)