2nd field visit to Rajshahi

Location:          Rajshahi, Bangladesh
Dates:              14-16 February 2012
Participants:  

  • Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC)
  • Guntur Municipal Corporation
  • ICLEI South Asia
  • Municipality of Bologna
  • HERA Multiutility of Bologna

The second field visit under the Realising DReAMS project was held on 14-16 February 2012 in Rajshahi, Bangladesh. The Municipal Commissioner of Guntur Municipal Corporation along with staff from Bologna Municipal Corporation visited the city of Rajshahi for an exchange of ideas on municipal services with Rajshahi municipal staff. ICLEI South Asia staff facilitated the visit and interaction between the three municipal corporations.

On the first day, the visitors were received by the Mayor of Rajshahi, Mr. A H M Khairuzzaman Liton. The meeting was attended by all official departmental personnel from Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) as well as the Environmental Standing Committee for Rajshahi. The latter also functions as the Stakeholder Committee for Rajshahi under the Realising DReAMS project. During this inaugural meeting, the city and its environmental situation were introduced to the visiting organizations. It was explained how the ecoBUDGET tool is being used in Rajshahi to monitor the selected indicators summarized in the Mayor’s Vision Document 2018. Later, Ms. Pamela Lama from the Municipality of Bologna introduced her city to the officials in Rajshahi and the foreign visitors were welcomed by Mayor. He spoke about the various initiatives undertaken by Rajshahi regarding the indicators chosen in ecoBudget, and expressed his hope for fruitful interactions between the municipal officials. During the second half of the day, the officials from Bologna and ICLEI South Asia visited tree plantation areas in Rajshahi, where trees have been planted under the Make Rajshahi City Green Project which, is monitored through the ecoBUDGET tool. The officials were also shown the night collection of waste, where door to door collection of waste is being conducted in the evening, and waste is being transported to secondary points.

On the second day, the officials from the Bologna Municipality were joined by Mr. K Sudhakar, the Municipal Commissioner of Guntur Municipal Corporation. Together with the representatives of ICLEI South Asia, they met with the Local Implementation Team of Rajshahi. A detailed presentation on the implementation of the project in Rajshahi was given and the various indicators and their past and present status as monitored through the ecoBUDGET tool were discussed. Then the solid waste management system of Guntur was presented. It was followed by in-depth discussions on how solid waste is handled in the two cities. While Rajshahi is currently providing the service free of charge to all residents, Guntur is charging a nominal amount for solid waste collection. RCC officials agreed that it might help to charge user fees from the residents for solid waste collection. Following that, the waste management system of Bologna was presented stressing the collection of re-usable goods for second hand market and use of underground waste collection bins for areas with less space for waste bins. Later on officials had the chance to visit the water treatment plant of Rajshahi city which is treating water from the River Padma and distributing it to the citizens. 

On the final day, the officials of Bologna and Guntur, representatives of ICLEI South Asia and members of the Environmental Standing Committee and RCC officials, met with the Chief Executive Officer of the RCC to discuss the implementation of the Community Development Committees in Rajshahi.
The officials also met with a Community Development Committee and interacted with its members regarding their functioning and impacts on the improvement of living conditions of the poor in Rajshahi. The CDCs helps in encouraging savings in poor households and provides credit facilities from banks to support poor families in the improvement of their livelihoods. The CDCs are also responsible for the local development of infrastructure, like inner roads, inner drains and toilets. The day ended with the officials taking a tour of one of the poor communities where a CDC the different activities that are undertaken by the CDC in the area, can be seen.