Dhaka. Our capital city. With more than two crore people in this city, our residence is crowded. It is the most densely populated city in the world. The ninth-largest city in the world. Let Dhaka move forward despite living in the midst of various problems, this is the expectation of every Dhaka resident. City dwellers want life in Dhaka to be problem-free, easier, more livable. Even then, contrary to the expected good news, we often get all the news about the livability of Dhaka, which disappoints us. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently reported this. A few days ago, they released the ‘Global Liability Ranking Report-2021’ which was based on the data of 2020.

There is no good news for Dhaka in this report. Rather there is bad news. Bangladesh ranks 137th out of 140 countries in the report’s ‘Global Liability Index’. In other words, Dhaka ranks fourth among the four worst cities in the world in terms of livability. Only three cities in the world are in a worse position than Dhaka. Damascus, the capital of war-torn Syria, is in the worst position, as it was last year. It is followed by Lagos in Nigeria and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea in second and third place respectively.

EIU did not release this report in 2020 due to lockdown in most cities of the world due to Covid-19. In the 2019 report, Bangladesh was ranked 136th. In 2016 it was at number 139. And this time in 138th place. Earlier, Dhaka was once the worst city in the world in terms of livability. If so, it is seen that the livability position of Bangladesh is moving forward one step every year. Going forward, it will take another 36 years for the ‘best-one hundred’ position to reach the bracket. And it will take more than a year for Swash to get into the top ten. From this, we have to work hard to bring about an acceptable change in the easily predictable position.

According to the EIU report, this year’s list of the top ten livable cities is -1. Auckland, New Zealand; 2, Osaka, Japan; 3. Adelaide, Australia; 4. Wellington, New Zealand; 5. Tokyo, Japan; Perth, Australia; Zurich, Switzerland; Geneva, Switzerland; 9. Melbourne, Australia, and Brisbane, Australia.
Notably, the top ten include four cities in Australia, two in New Zealand, two in Switzerland, and two in Japan. New Zealand and Australia are dominating the top ten this year. It is said that the two countries are dominant in the rankings due to their strong fight against Kovid-19. Cities in Asia and the Pacific are also in the top ten, including Osaka, Adelaide, Wellington, Tokyo, Perth, Melbourne, and Brisbane. This time the position of European and Canadian cities is lower than before due to the lockdown. Earlier, Vienna was the most livable city, but now it has dropped to twelfth position.

According to this year’s EIU report, the 10 worst livable cities are as follows: Damascus, Syria; 2. Lagos, Nigeria; 3. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; 4. Dhaka, Bangladesh; 5. Algiers, Algeria; Tripoli, Libya; Karachi, Pakistan; Harare, Zimbabwe; 9. Cameroon’s Douala and 10. Caracas, Venezuela. Incidentally, the EIU does not usually publish rankings for all cities.

As we have seen in the past, European cities were usually at the top of the list of liability rankings. But this time the position of those cities has been seen to come down a bit. And the cities of New Zealand, Australia, and Japan have risen in the ranking. In compiling this ranking, it has been taken into consideration how successful initiatives have been taken by different cities to control Covid-19. As a result, New Zealand’s Auckland and Wellington, Australia’s Adelaide, and Japan’s Osaka are able to effectively control the Covid-19, making it easier for these cities to rise to the top ten. When the big cities of other countries were under lockdown and restrictions, these cities were open. The question is, why is Dhaka at the bottom of the rankings? Many of us think of this question.

The Economist Intelligence Unit uses the metrics as a criterion in determining their liability ranking scores in five broad areas – stability, healthcare. Culture and environment, education and infrastructure. The 30 qualitative and numerical components or controllers of these fields are considered in determining this ranking. Check whether these are acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable, or intolerable. Apart from this, the Covid-19 situation has also been added as a new controller in determining the ranking this time.

The general calculation is that because we did not score well in these criteria, Dhaka is ranked 137th out of 140 countries. However, there is a strong perception that the high backwardness of business, environmental conditions, and ranking-poverty of universities have worked behind this backwardness in Dhaka. The 2021 Liability Index Dhaka ranked 336th out of 100 and ranked 138th. Instability, Dhaka got 55 marks, in healthcare 18.6 marks, in culture and environment 30.6 marks, in education 33.3 marks, and in infrastructure 27.6 marks. In this index of 2019, the score was 55 instability in Dhaka, 29.2 in healthcare, 40.5 in culture and environment, 41.8 in education, and 26.7 in infrastructure. In the 2016 index, Dhaka’s score was 50 instability, 29.2 in healthcare, 40.5 in culture and environment, 41.8 in education, and 26.7 in infrastructure.

The livability of a city is usually determined by the quality of life. Such as the availability of clean water and food, housing, transportation, healthcare, education, and a stable and safe environment. Excluding the word stability in Bangladesh, Dhaka’s score is very low in other cases. The situation of stability is considered when there is war, crime, and heated situations in the city. In this case, Dhaka scored well because the presence of political movement struggle was relatively low. The Kovid-19 epidemic has played a positive role in this regard. Political movements were also limited by government-imposed general public holidays, lockdowns, and the imposition of multidimensional restrictions.

Generally, people in Dhaka do not suffer from a food problems. Admittedly, a significant portion of Dhaka’s general population suffered from major food problems during Kovid-19. Because at that time economic activities suddenly came to a standstill. Many lose their jobs. Especially working people are in dire need of food at this time. Naturally, Dhaka lost the opportunity to score well in this case.

The problems of access to clean water, healthcare, education, transportation, housing, and a safe environment in Dhaka are with us. Like many other cities in South Asia, the people of Dhaka do not get these services properly. At least one-third of Dhaka residents live in slums or underdeveloped areas. Getting them clean water is a big problem. They are most deprived of housing, education, and healthcare.

Dhaka’s public transport system, which runs through irregularities, is very complex and uncomfortable. There is no end to the discussions, criticisms, plans, and programs. However, it is difficult to say when there will be any visible improvement in the public transport situation. There is no change in the situation. It can be said that in some cases the situation has deteriorated further. To improve the situation, the government is implementing several projects – Metrorail and flyovers. Many are still under construction, some are just beginning.

The environmental situation in Dhaka is getting worse day by day. The air pollution situation is deteriorating. Although the main roads are kept fairly clean, there are piles of rubbish in the alleys. These are full of various ditches. Many areas and roads are submerged due to heavy rains during the monsoon. The two city corporations have failed to solve the problem of drainage. But the annual promise to solve the problem continues.

The World Health Organization says Dhaka is the most polluted city. This has been the situation in Dhaka for several years. Dhaka was ranked as the most air-polluted city in the Air Quality Index (AQI) on February 26. In second place in Beijing, China. In this case, Kathmandu and Delhi are in third and fourth place respectively. At 2 pm, Dhaka’s air quality index was recorded at 236, which was considered as a ‘very unhealthy’ level of air pollution. AQI between 201-300 is considered a ‘poor’ level of air pollution. On the other hand, AQI between 301-400 is considered to be a ‘hazardous’ level of air pollution for humans.

It is important to note that governments use the AQI index to inform city dwellers about the air pollution situation in their respective cities. Through this people can know the air quality of their city. The brick kilns are responsible for 56 percent of Dhaka’s air pollution. Apart from that, the dust created by the construction work and the smoke of vehicles and factories is responsible for air pollution.
Bangladesh needs to take various steps to eliminate this pollution. Strict measures are needed to reduce smoke from brickfields, factories, and transportation. Need for proper implementation of environmental laws.

It is clear that the level of livability in Dhaka is at an alarming level. In terms of the overall situation, it is normal for Dhaka to lag behind in the ranking of livability. These reasons for the delay need to be looked into urgently. At the same time, effective steps are needed to take the ranking of livability in Dhaka to an acceptable level.

One thought on “Lifetime Dhaka ranks 137th out of 140 countries”
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