The work of creating a geographic information system (GIS) map of the city of Chattogram to give impetus to the development activities of the port city has been stopped because the project has not received money from the municipal corporation over the past one and a half years.
On January 15, 2020, Chattogram City Corporation signed an agreement with the Institute of Water Modeling (IWM) to create a GIS map of the port city on the initiative of AJM Nasir Uddin, then mayor of the city.
However, the municipality has not allocated any money to the project since Nasir’s term ended on August 5, 2020.
On August 6, 2020, the leader of the Awami League, Khorshed Alam Sujon, was appointed administrator of the city corporation. After serving for 180 days, his term ended on February 1, 2021. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury took office as the new mayor on February 15 last year.
Abu Saleh Khan, executive director of the Water Modeling Institute, told The Business Standard: “The municipal corporation stopped giving money after the change of mayor. Currently, the work of this project is stopped.
“We were given around Tk 1 crore during the tenure of former AJM Mayor Nasir Uddin. We started the ground verification investigation but could not proceed with it as there was no allocation of funds,” he added.
Previously, the initiative to create a GIS map of the city of Chattogram was taken in 2015. But the initiative did not come to fruition as the project implementation company Arc Bangladesh was unable to complete the work. However, the municipality signed an agreement with IWM five years after the first initiative failed with an estimated cost of Tk 13 crore.
Dr. Mollah Md Awlad Hossain, Director of ICT-GIS Division, IWM, said, “Geographic Information System (GIS) is a digital software for knowing geographical information. New possibilities can be created in the fields of engineering, planning, management, transportation, supply, telecommunications and businesses using this digital system. GIS maps provide insight into the nature of climate change, natural disasters and population dynamics.
“The infrastructure information of all city districts and the geographical environment can be instantly known through this system. It will be easier to manage development activities and collect household taxes if we can create the map “, he added.
The Business Standard has attempted to contact Mayor Rezaul Karim Chowdhury and Mohammad Shahidul Alam, the municipality’s chief executive, on several occasions for their comments on the matter. But they didn’t get the call. Messages sent to their cell phones also went unanswered.
However, Humayun Kabir, the (acting) accountant of the municipal corporation, said, “Before me, Mohammad Saifuddin was in charge of accounting here. During his tenure, money was given to the Modeling Institute of Water (IWM). But no money came in the next year and a half.”