Motijheel, famous for its banks, is now dying. Banks and financial institutions are moving elsewhere as they cannot keep up with the times. Urban planners and concerned people think that if residential buildings, shopping malls, hotels, open spaces are not built in Motijheel, which is the wheel of development and economy of the country, this main commercial area of the country will lose its life.
According to them, money from Motijheel has made a big contribution to the overall development of the country. Not only that, the money earned in Motijheel has touched development in Dubai, Singapore, America, Canada and many other countries. Many people have deposited the money earned here in Swiss banks. Motijheel was not the only one affected by development. This is the story of mother crab’s self-sacrifice. The mother crab keeps the babies in her chest; When the babies hatch, the mother crab is left with nothing but the shell. A sad and forsaken commercial motijeel like a mother crab.
In the 1960s, Motijheel became the Central Business District (CBD) of the country. Since then Motijheel is still the main commercial area of the country.
It is known that the number of public and private banks in the country is 61. Among them there are 8 government banks, 45 private banks and 8 foreign banks. Apart from this there are 35 financial institutions and 81 insurance institutions. More than half of the head offices of these banks and financial institutions have moved to Karwan Bazar, Gulshan-Banani and Uttara. Banks, insurance and financial institutions which are newly approved, head offices are being moved outside Motijheel.
It is known that banks and financial institutions are taking this decision as there is no planned residential area, elite hotel, open space for leisure between work, shopping complex around Motijheel. For the convenience of working with banks and financial institutions, the head offices of other business organizations are also being built in the areas outside Motijheel, i.e. Karwan Bazar, Gulshan Avenue, Kamal Ataturk Avenue.
According to the relevant sources, the Motijheel commercial area covers both sides of the road up to Dainik Bangla, Shapla Chatwar, Madhumita Cinema Hall and Ittefak Mor and Dilkusha, Capital Development Authority (Rajuk) Building and Bangabhaban. Buildings in commercial areas around the world tend to be taller. But next to Motijheel commercial area is Bangabhavan. Due to security reasons, no high-rise building is allowed within 500 meters radius of Banga Bhavan. However, as per building regulations, plots in Motijheel are given ‘non-restricted’ height. But within the 500 meter perimeter of Banga Bhavan, no building of more than four and a half storeys is allowed. As a result, the owners are not able to make proper use of those valuable plots.
On the surface, it is seen that most of the buildings in Motijheel commercial area are dilapidated. Some buildings are also dangerous. One attached to the other. Most of the buildings do not have an open space between the two buildings. There is no empty space between the buildings in Dilkusha area.
It was also seen on the ground that the footpaths of Motijheel area are occupied by hawkers. Broken bumpy road. The road dividers are empty. They have not been beautified. A little further from the main road, Motijheel is in a more miserable condition. Food hotels, tea shops and temporary shops of various products have been built on the sidewalks of the main commercial areas of the country surrounded by chaat bark. The roads of Motijheel area are under water in light rain.
According to local government department sources, Motijheel commercial area is under the jurisdiction of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) ward number 9. A master plan for the DSCC area is in progress. The consultancy firm in the draft master plan claimed that Motijheel has already lost its life when assessed as a central commercial zone. However, the technical committee of DSCC refused to accept it.
When asked about the poor condition of the Motijheel area, the local councilor said. Mozammel Haque told Country Transformation that DSCC is working to reform and modernize the Motijheel area. A park has been created on the abandoned about 10 khata land. The park has already been opened to all.
He said that Motijheel has many problems with roads, sewers, footpaths and road dividers. They need to be renovated and modernized. DSCC will work to solve the existing problems in this area gradually. However, Rajuk is responsible for the main renovation and modernization of Motijheel commercial area. Rajuk has to plan and implement those things. If the cooperation of the city corporation is needed in these works, the corporation will provide all kinds of cooperation.
Motijheel commercial zone is developed by Rajuk. According to Rajuk sources, Motijheel has been completely devoid of commercial features since the 1960s. Commercial zones in developed countries of the world consist of shopping malls, hotels, open spaces. And nearby areas are planned residential areas. That was not the case with Motijheel Commercial Area. Even though luxury hotel Purvani is built, there are no facilities to spend time around. Because of that, people coming from the country and abroad in bank-insurance and financial institutions live in Gulshan-Banani-Baridhara area. Rajuk and City Corporation have not done the things that need to be looked into to ensure the beauty and modernization of Motijheel.
According to Rajuk sources, the elite residential areas of Dhaka are Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara, Uttara. People from all those areas come to Motijheel. Traffic congestion is increasing day by day as the population of the city increases. It takes one to one and a half hours by road to reach Motijheel from all those areas. Between 8 and 10 hours of daily working hours, 30 percent of the time is wasted on roads. As a result, people are forced to think that their workplace will be in a place that is close to their residence. These factors have also played a role in the migration of banks, insurance and financial institutions from Motijheel.
Over time, Gulshan has become a commercial area. Some went to Karwan Bazar, Uttara too. Bank-insurance and financial institution head offices and other commercial activities have also moved there. They live in Gulshan-Banani-Baridhara area around these areas. Except for residential areas, nowhere in the world is 100% used for industry, commerce, education or similar activities.
Chief urban planner and spokesperson of Rajuk. Ashraful Islam told Desh Panwaram that in urban planning it is said about the use of land that any place will be used for 24 hours. Motijheel, the main commercial area of the country, is active only for 12 hours. Then that place is not used. At night it becomes a silent and haunted area.
He said that it is not possible to walk in Motijheel during the day; Due to cars, traffic jams; You can’t even walk alone in that Motijheel after 8pm; Feel insecure. For this reason, those who come to trade during the day, do not stay in the hotels of Motijheel area. On the other hand, if they are in Gulshan-Banani area, they can go shopping, coffee shop. These factors have encouraged mixed land use around the world.
Ashraful Islam said, since the Motijheel area has already lost its prestige, Rajuk has prepared to convert the land category of Motijheel into mixed use. The revised DAP contains instructions in that regard. If you review the history of the world’s cities, you can see that they are poured every 50, 60 or 100 years. Taking that into consideration, the Motijheel area should also be decorated. Here are the characteristics of the resident; Condominium should be built. Meanwhile, Rajuk has taken the initiative to build a park with 16 acres of land behind Bangladesh Bank. There will be library, walkway. There will be seating. There was Jheel in Motijheel area, the park will be built with the priority of that Jheel. Motijheel cannot be sustained without multipurpose use.
If asked, the city planner and former president of Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) Professor Dr. Akhtar Mahmud said to Desh Parwan, special importance should be given to the modernization of Motijheel and the mixed use of land. Then Motijheel will be active; However, since Dhaka city is big, the development of more commercial areas is positive. These had to be developed systematically; But that was not the case in Dhaka. It’s sad. Due to this, various problems have arisen in the city.
Bangladesh Bank spokesperson Majbaul Haque said that many commercial areas have been developed in Dhaka. Bangladesh Bank is approving the setting up of bank-insurance and financial institution offices in those regions. So far the offices of major banks, insurance and financial institutions are in Motijheel. However, as business is moving to Gulshan, Banani, Uttara, Gazipur, banks, insurance and financial institutions are also moving closer to business centers.