Mayoral debates for DSCC candidates

In anticipation of the mayoral elections to be held on April 28, today the Dhaka Tribune in collaboration with ATN News, with research support from IID, hosted the first of the two televised mayoral debates among candidates – for Dhaka South City City Corporation (DSCC) – at Krishibid Institution.

DSC_0152_1 Among the participants were Sayeed Khokon, Mohammad Saifuddin Ahmed Milon, Golam Mawla Roni, Mohammad Shafi Ullah Chowdhury, Shahidul Islam and Bazlur Rashid Firoz. The debate was moderated by Munni Saha, Head of News at ATN News.

“Through online and offline surveys, IID took the public’s opinions and concerns relating to the responsibilities of the mayor and prepared the youth manifesto, which forms the basis of the debate,” said Syeed Ahamed, Founder and CEO of IID.

During the debate questions relevant to the roles of the mayor were raised by the audience and were then answered by the debating candidates taking turns. Issues that were raised in the form of questions revolved around environment and public health, water-logging, traffic congestion, outdoor recreation opportunities, education and information facilitation and public safety and ssecurity.

“When it comes to maintaining a healthy environment and a clean city, it is of utmost importance that we eradicate corruption and nepotism within the responsible groups,” said Bazlur Rashid Firoz on public health.

On the subject of water-logging, numerous recommendations came about which included but were not limited to cleaning the many water bodies within the city, being responsible with the disposal of polythene and catalysing the smooth functioning of the Detailed Area Plan (DAP). Shahidul Islam relating to this, said, “As mayor, I’d strive to bring all the relevant ministries under the roof of one common goal, that is, ridding the city of its water-logging problems.”

When touched upon the topic of traffic congestion, a number of promises were made that ranged from bringing in specialists in the fields of road design and city planning to the construction of new circular roads, one way streets and flyovers. “The completion of a sky train will instantaneously resolve a number of traffic related obstacles,” said Mohamad Saifuddin Ahmed Milon.

The issue of outdoor recreational facilities and playing fields revealed that illegal encroachment stands out as the primary problem to which Sayeed Khokon said, “There will be no compromise when it comes to illegal encroachment, fields will once again be open for the young and old without discrimination.”

When it came to education and information facilitation, it was almost unanimously agreed upon that city-wide WiFi connectivity is one of the major changes that has to be brought about.

Lastly, among a number of other recommendations, it was suggested that the issue of public safety, especially for women, will be resolved by creating and enforcing committees that will accurately and swiftly dole out justice.

The debate of DSCC and DNCC will be aired on 21 April and 23 April respectively, after the 9pm news on ATN News.