Once, Bangladesh was a rural country. Now, Bangladesh is a rural-urban country; both are not same, challenges and problems are not same, developmental plans and goals are not same, and their administrative structures and functions should not be the same. It should be understood by the people of Bangladesh, and it should be soon understood and officially recognized by the government of Bangladesh.
As we see, the rural villages in the unions are constantly changing in many ways, and the fast pace of urbanization is a reality in Bangladesh. In fact, Bangladesh is also heading towards becoming a completely unban country. As predicted, 50% of the Bangladesh will be urban by the year 2020, and Bangladesh will fully become an urban country by the year 2050.
In other words, right now about 35% of the Bangladesh’s people live in the urban areas; by 2020, 50% of the people will live in the urbanized areas, and by 2050, 100% people will live in the fully urbanized Bangladesh. The question is, as a nation, are we prepared for the grameen-nagariyo Bangladesh? Are we preparing for the fully nagariyo Bangladesh?
The answer is clearly no. So, facing and shaping the challenges in the rapidly changing rural areas and facing and shaping the grave challenges in the urban areas simultaneously, Bangladesh needs now to establish a dynamic administrative structure at its all administrative tiers.
Bangladesh also needs to systematize its disorganized local administrative layers and units, and it needs to reduce the number of local administrative layers and units. Towards that end, attached please find a proposed dynamic systematized administrative structure of Bangladesh prepared on the basis of predicted/projected changes and challenges by the years 2020 and 2050.
The structure has two parts; unlike a rural country, one part of the structure is designed for the present-day rural-urban Bangladesh; and, unlike a rural-urban country, another part of the structure is designed for the future 100% urbanized Bangladesh.
In the proposed graphical structure, it is clearly shown that the rural local administrative units in Bangladesh will be progressively abolished; in other words, the unions and villages will be transformed into nagars and nagar sarkars (urban administrative units); and, as a result, Bangladesh will consist of a number of nagars (urban units) and nagar sarkars only. Ultimately, as designed, Bangladesh will have a two-tier local government system, and, it could have a reduced number of local administrative units as desired, as needed.
Thus, the operational costs, on the one hand, will be reduced and the developmental costs, on the other hand, will be increased. By the way, it should be mentioned that the proposed systematized administrative structure was prepared by Mr. Abu Taleb and presented by him at a national seminar held in Dhaka on 13 January 1997.
Since then, because of the CDLG’s continual campaign and targeted advocacy on the proposal, we sense that the importance of the proposed structure is increasing among the different groups of people. In reality, we are now more confident that either of the two proposed administrative structures, if implemented now, could shape the present and future of Bangladesh and its people.
However, if the attached graphical governmental structures (one for the present-day rural-urban Bangladesh and another for the future urban Bangladesh) and their significances are not fully clear to you, please let us know your informational questions on them, and feel free to express your opinions on them as well.
Since the future Bangladesh means an urban Bangladesh, since the present-day Bangladesh means a rural-urban Bangladesh, and since present Bangladesh is not a rural Bangladesh, everyone, especially members of the government policy and law making bodies, should know understand deeply the proposed administrative structure prospect for the present-day 65% rural-35% urban Bangladesh as well as for the future 100% urban Bangladesh, and everybody should prepare and act accordingly.