19.1 Introduction

19.1.1 The overall growth of population along with rapid urbanisation during the last two decades and a half caused a high pressure on the limited land of the country. It also created a number of problems in the areas of environment, housing, water supply and sanitation. Decentralisation of administration and development of local government institutions also created enhanced demand for physical infrastructures and other utility services at the district, thana, union and pourashava levels. In addition, development of facilities to cater for the increasing recreational needs of the citizens and to promote tourism also demands further development of infrastructure. Construction of low-cost housing both in the rural and the urban areas, and multi-storied houses and office buildings in the urban areas is undertaken to improve the living and working conditions of the people. All these changes call for an appropriate planning for land-use both in the rural and urban areas to systematically provide necessary physical infrastructures, utility services and housing. Moreover, the continuous migration of the rural poor to the urban areas, particularly to the metropolitan cities of Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna for jobs has given rise to slums and squatters and created problems of transportation and environmental degradation. Emphasis is to be given to combat environmental degradation by building adequate sewerage and sanitation facilities, arranging safe disposal of solid waste and controlling air and water pollution from industries and vehicles. Besides, improvements in city road networks are to be made to reduce traffic jam. Improvement of the quality of life and living conditions of the slum dwellers needs to be attended to through resettlement based on adequate physical facilities and utility services. To meet the growing challenge of urbanisation, an urban development strategy along with land-use plan needs to be adopted during the Plan period.

19.1.2 There is virtually no land-use plan for the rural areas of the country, which comprises about 85 per cent of the total land area. The present facilities in respect of physical infrastructures, housing, water supply, sanitation, etc., are very inadequate. Housing shortage in the country in 1991 was estimated to be 3.1 million units, out of which 2.15 million units were in the rural areas. It was projected that this shortage might exceed 5 million units by the end of the century if the current trend continued. Even in the public sector, less than 10 per cent of the employees get residential accommodation. Most of the remaining employees live in rented houses under financial hardship and lack of adequate physical facilities. About one-third of the urban people live in slums or as squatters in most unhygeinic condition. The piped-water supply in Dhaka city, Chittagong city and district towns hardly covers 65, 50 and 51 per cent of the population respectively. In thanas and pourashavas, this coverage of water supply hardly exceeds 5 per cent. Presently, there is only 1 tube-well for every 105 persons to supply drinking water in the rural areas. The sanitation coverage in the rural areas is only 36 per cent of population; even in Dhaka city the sewerage system covers only 35 percent of population. In spite of high potential , the state of tourism in Bangladesh is yet in its infancy due to lack of physical facilities. The main thrust of the Fifth Five Year Plan will, therefore, be to improve the quality of life and living conditions of the people and their working environment by providing adequate physical infrastructures and other services.

19.1.3 The physical planning, water supply and housing sector covers the following activities that are being implemented by a number of agencies under 12 ministries/divisions.

a. Preparation of land -use master plan for the urban centres and the rural areas;

b. Provision of housing for government personnel and development of satellite towns for different income groups living in urban areas;

c. Provision of low cost rural housing;

d. Resettlement of slum dwellers and squatters;

e. Delivery of basic services to the slum dwellers;

f. Provision of safe drinking water, sewerage and sanitation facilities both in urban and rural areas;

g. Construction of government offices and institutional and residential buildings at administrative centres and important places;

h. Development of basic infrastructures and services at zilla, thana, union and village levels;

i. Combating environmental degradation and controlling air and water pollution;

j. Development of road networks in the metropolitan cities to reduce traffic jam;

k. Development of tourism and recreational facilities; and

l. Research and Development in the field of building materials and construction.


19.2 Review of Performance of Past Plans



19.2.1 Performance during 1973-90

a. Financial performance: The plan-wise total allocation and expenditure in the public sector is given in Table 19.1.


Table 19.1

Public Sector Allocations and Expenditures During 1973-90

for Physical Planning Water Supply and Housing

(in million Taka)



(at base year prices of respective Plan)

Relative Share of Sector (%)


(at current prices)

First Plan (1973-78)




Two Year Plan (1978-80)




Second Plan (1980-85)




Third Plan (1985-90)





b. Physical performance (1973-90)

i. During the period, land-use master plans for 398 thana headquarters and master plans for 60 district towns were undertaken. Office accommodations at 44 district and thana head quarters were completed and 13,918 service plots were distributed among people belonging to low income group and about 6,860 squatter families were rehabilitated. Besides, 17,480 flats, 252 dormitories at thana level, 1,065 office buildings, 2,033 union tahsil offices and 362 thana land offices were constructed. The landmarks in development of this period were the constructions of the twenty-storied office building at the secretariat, Dhaka, the International Conference Centre at old Sangsad Bhaban, the Monument for the Martyrs of the Liberation War at Savar, the National Monument at Mujibnagar and the Osmani Memorial Hall at Fulbaria.

ii. In case of rural water supply, following the policies initiated by the government in 1973, the coverage was raised to 125 persons per tube-well in June 1990 from


238 persons per tube-well in June 1973. A total of 918,125 water- sealed latrines were distributed. This together with the home-made latrines made it possible to cover 11 per cent of the population under sanitation programmes.

iii. Water supply in Dhaka city rose to 546 million litres per day (MLD) in June 1990 from 182 MLD in June 1973, covering 50 per cent of the total city population as against 25 per cent in 1973. The sanitation coverage in Dhaka city through sewerage connection stood at 25 per cent in June 1990 compared with only 10 per cent in 1973. The water supply in Chittagong city increased to 136 MLD in June 1990 covering 45 per cent of the total city population as against 68 MLD and a coverage of 30 per cent in 1973. The total water supply capacity in the district towns was raised to 250 MLD covering 41 per cent of the total town population by June 1990 as against only 27 MLD of water supply and coverage of only 10 per cent in 1973.

19.2.2 Performance during fourth five year plan (1990-95)

a. Financial performance: In the Fourth Plan, Tk. 18,420.00 million (at 1989/90 prices) was allocated to this sector which was 5.31 per cent of the total public sector allocation. At the end of the Plan period, total expenditure stood at Tk. 20,940.00 million at current prices. This expenditure also included expenditure of the National Implementation Committee for Administrative Reforms (NICAR) and Flood Action Plan (FAP) for water supply and sanitation and construction of 3,080 houses for public servants in Dhaka city.

b. Physical performance : The land-use master plans for 398 thanas and 60 district towns were completed. Preparation of master plans for Dhaka and Chittagong cities was initiated. The National Housing Policy was approved in 1993. Improvement of the physical infrastructures for the secondary district towns were carried out.


19.2.3 Housing

a. Core houses for 1,000 squatter families at Dattapara, Tongi were provided and 5,000 residential plots at Mirpur and 4,100 plots at Kaibalyadham, Chittagong, were developed and allotted to people of low income group;

b. 3,000 residential flats in 44 newly created districts and 3,000 flats in Dhaka were constructed for the public employees;

c. RAJUK developed and provided 4,787 plots at Uttara;

d. Construction of 44 new circuit houses was initiated. A new Dhaka district court building was constructed. A new circuit house at Chittagong was built and the old one turned into a museum;

e. The Prime Minister's Secretariat at Tejgaon was renovated and a four-channel conference system was installed;

f. Private enterprise made a significant stride to develop housing in urban areas; and

g. Some NGOs undertook low cost housing programmes for the poor in the rural areas.


19.2.4 Water supply and sanitation

a. Water supply and sanitation in rural areas: At the end of the Plan period, water supply facilities in the rural areas figured at one hand tube-well for 107 persons compared with 125 persons in 1990. As a result of joint efforts of the government and NGOs , sanitation coverage in the rural Bangladesh went up to 36 per cent (including home- made latrines) by the terminal year of the Fourth Plan from 11 per cent in 1990.


b. Water supply and sanitation in urban areas :

i. Water supply and sanitation in Pourashavas and Thanas: During the Plan period, 96 production wells, 303 km of pipe line, 7 water treatment plants, 13 overhead tanks and 52 km of drains were constructed, while 6,074 house connections were given in pourashavas and thanas. Against a target of 477 MLD water supply the achievement was 296 MLD. A total of 19,828 pit latrines were installed against the target of 25,000.

ii. Water supply and sanitation in Dhaka and Chittagong cities: During the Fourth Plan 67 DTWs were installed in Dhaka city. Besides, 266 km of water pipe lines, 39 km of sewerage lines and 47 km of storm sewer lines were constructed and a supply of 1,023 MLD water supply was achieved. On the whole, 65 per cent of the population was covered with piped water supply, 35 per cent with sewer facilities and 25 per cent with storm - sewer facilities at the end of the Fourth Plan. The total water supply capacity of Chittagong city increased from 136 MLD in 1990 to 159 MLD in 1995 covering 52 per cent of the population . Besides, the Mohra water treatment plant was planned to be modernised.

iii. Tourism: Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation drew up a master plan for development of tourism. Efforts were made to operate the tourism facilities on a commercial basis. A National Tourism Training Institute was established at a cost of Tk. 120.00 million.

iv. Fire Service Police Service and environmental projects: Rajarbag police hospital and Sarda Police Training Academy were modernised and expanded. Two projects were implemented for environmental improvement of Dhaka and Chittagong metropolitan areas. The Housing and Settlement Directorate, Dhaka City corporation, Dhaka WASA and the Environment Directorate implemented the package programme under the Dhaka Urban Infrastructure Improvement project (DUIP) at Mirpur at a cost of Tk. 900.00 million.

v. Construction of other infrastructures: Construction of office building for the Department of Immigration and Passports at Dhaka was initiated during this period. The construction and repair of union tahsil offices and thana land offices were taken up. The Court Building in Dhaka was completed and residential houses for Judges in Dhaka, Khulna, Barisal, Rajshahi and Chittagong were constructed.