Municipal tradition in Bangladesh

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Municipal tradition in Bangladesh




Municipal tradition in Bangladesh, as elsewhere in the sub-continent, is a colonial heritage, which started its way with the setting up of Municipal Corporations in the Presidency Towns of Madras (1688), Calcutta and Bombay (1726) by the British East India Company. Municipal administration took no clear shape until the 1840s; though various experiments were carried out during subsequent attempts. The Act of 1842 was the first formal attempt for municipal organization. Under this Act, a Town Committee could be formed for sanitation purpose. The Act was followed by few other subsequent endeavors, such as the Acts of 1864, 1876 and 1884. The earliest municipalities in the present Bangladesh were Nasirabad (1856), Sherpur (1861), Dhaka (1864), Chittagong (1864) and Brahmanbaria (1868).

After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, all local bodies operating under the legacy of colonial practice were dissolved through the President’s Order No. 7 of 1971. By the President’s Order No. 22 of 1973 municipalities were revived with few marginal alterations in their structure and composition, though their functions remained more or less same as they were during the colonial period. A new ordinance called Pourashava Ordinance was promulgated in 1977 with substantial and necessary alterations in structure, composition and function of the poursashava. The Pourashava Ordinance 1977 was replaced by the Pourashava Ordinance 1997.

The incorporated areas administered by the government as urban areas under the Pourashava Ordinance 1977 are considered as the pourashava (Population Census 1991, Census of Slums 1997). Pourashava occupies a very important place in the overall system of administration and governance, lies at the lowest tier of local government structure of Bangladesh for urban areas. As a key local government institution, it enjoys statutory status constituted and

functions as an autonomous self-governing unit. The prime objective behind the setting up of such an institution is to render some important civic services to the urban population, to address localized problems and prospects of urban area and to find out best-fitted solution for coping with those problems and to harness those prospects by the local people themselves and their representatives in association with the central government. Because, without close and intimate contact and active participation, no problem can be completely realized and as such the solution may be misleading, which in turn may result in a complex set of problems and wastage of scarce resources. Thus, as a part of bottom-up and participatory approach, pourashavas offer enormous potential and advantages to achieve optimum level of development and to ensure availability of basic urban services to the pourashava dwellers. For more autonomy, democracy and sustainability of the pourashavas, they must be made financially self-sufficient, which will expedite the ability of pourashavas to provide better facilities and amenities to their inhabitants (Faizulla, 1996). But most of our paursahavas have so far completely failed to attain intended targets regarding the provision of basic civic services and facilities for their inhabitants so far due to weak financial management. As a result basic civic amenities and urban services have become a far cry in almost all the pourashavas in our country.

1.1 Background and Present State of the Problem

According to the Pourashava Ordinance 1997, pourashavas were established for providing urban facilities like sanitation and control of environmental pollution, removal, collection and disposal of refuse, prevention of infectious diseases, provision of water supply, provision of drainage, maintenance of public streets, street lighting, traffic control etc. But pourashavas have failed to provide the mandatory services to the taxpayers. Most of the pourashavas lack a proper drainage system, sufficient road network, adequate street lighting, regular garbage collection and adequate water supply (Taleb, 2004). The overall level of urban service is very insufficient and unsatisfactory. For example, in Haziganj (13.83 sq. km) there are only 24 water supply connections including domestic, commercial, industrial and others to serve 52,125 inhabitants and in Barisal (38.84 sq. km) there are 6,740 water supply connections including domestic, commercial, industrial and others to serve 1,96,700 residents (LGED, 1998-99). The electrification coverage in terms of area ranges from 4% in Pirganj to 90% in Alamdanga and in terms of population from 5% in Barura to 85% in Manikganj. The conservancy coverage in terms of area ranges from 2% in Kalia to 95% in Bheramara and in terms of population from 14% in Santhia to 90% in Barisal. There are many reasons behind such poor level of services such as institutional and organizational inefficiency, corruption, illegal political interference, and lack of public participation, transparency and accountability and over all shortage of funds (LGD, 1998). Government block grants to 1st class pourashavas in Bangladesh decreased from Tk. 95 lakhs in 1995-96 to Tk. 60 lakhs in 1997-98 (LGD, 1996; LGD, 1998). On the other hand, pourashavas fail to properly assess and collect taxes and revenues. For example, in case of Dinajpur Pourashava, assessment is estimated to be 6.67 times less than the actual amount (Taleb, 2004). Percentage of water bill collection in case of Rangpur is 15% and in case of Kurigram 23% (LGED, 1998-99). It is clear that pourashavas can increase their revenues by assessing taxes properly and collecting them regularly. The international financial institutions (e.g., World Bank, Asian Development Bank etc.) and donor agencies (e.g., DFID, CARE, CIDA, DANIDA etc.) are showing less interest about pourashvas due to under assessment of holding taxes and low rate of revenue collection (LGED, 1999). But even if pourashavas collect revenue from their own sources properly, the question still remains as to whether that amount is sufficient enough to meet the cost for provision of mandated services. The objective of this research is to find an answer to this question with case studies of Manikganj Pourashava and Madhabdi Pourashava as representatives of A and B category pourashavas respectively.

Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the proposed research may be outlined as follows:

  • To find out the extent of services currently provided by the pourashava especially conservancy, street lighting and water supply, road maintenance and the cost incurred for such services.
  • To determine the likely required cost for providing adequate services to poura-inhabitants.
  • To assess whether proper collection of taxes can raise enough funds for provide adequate services.

Scope of the Study

This research was carried out to fulfill the requirements of an academic degree and the scope of the study was limited. According to the objectives set out for this study, the output of the research can help the policy makers to realize the approximate income and expenditures of different types of pourashava.

Methodology of Study

The methodology of the study can be described as the following steps:

Step 1: Formulation of Objectives

The first step of the study was to set out objectives on the basis of which the research work would proceed. It is the most vital part of the study because the objectives set for a study indicate the procedure of the selection data and information, their collection and processing, and above all final recommendations from the findings of their analysis. The particular objectives formulated for this study have been stated in the Section 1.3 of this report.

Step 2: Determination of Required Data and Information to be Collected

For the study purpose two pourashavas have been selected as case studies. These pourashavas are:

Ø Manikganj, a category A pourashava, and

Ø Madhabdi, a category B pourashava

To fulfill the objectives of the study the type of data and information to be collected and the possible sources for such data were determined. The following data and information were collected from secondary sources:

  1. Area of the pourashavas
  2. Annual budget
  3. Financing authority
  4. Annual taxes and revenue income
  5. Annual income and expenditure
  6. Demographic information
  7. Infrastructure inventories
  8. Magnitude of existing services
  9. Scope for better services
  10. Maps containing different information like land use, road network etc.

Step 3: Literature Survey

For conducting any research work relevant literature survey is an inseparable as well as essential step. From literature survey we can get knowledge and idea about previous works of pertinent track, which help us to proceed in more effective and efficient manners. It provides an opportunity to fine tune our thoughts and ideas. So, relevant research papers, journals and writings were sought to make the study more realistic and useful.

Step 4: Collection of Data and Information

Data and information as required for the study were collected from various sources. First of all information like population data, state of the pourarshavas etc. were collected from secondary sources. Some necessary information like annual budget, annual taxes and revenue income, and annual income and expenditures of the pourashavas were collected from the respective pourashava offices. Relevant data like infrastructure inventories were also sought from the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED). Required census reports were collected to get realistic data. Moreover, different data and information considered to be useful were taken into account while physically visiting the pourashavas several times. Maps as well as photographs were collected from various primary and secondary sources. All these data and information were then accumulated and organized depending on importance and justification.

Step 5: Evaluation and Analysis of Data and Information Collected

I. The collected data were analyzed to determine how many people are getting services and to what extent.

II. The demographic data, cadastral and road maps and data obtained in the previous steps were used to calculate the additional quantum of services required.

III. The cost for extended services in terms of population and areal coverage were calculated with inputs from concerned officials and experts.

Step 6: Recommendations

The prime motto of any research work is to find ways and means for achieving the pre-defined objectives. While formulating recommendations the jurisdiction of the research was always tried to maintain. Because of any recommendation which does not comply with the basic objectives should definitely be rejected due to exceeding the boundary. So, in this research realistic and logical recommendations were tried to formulate incompliance with the objectives after evaluating and analyzing the collected data and information.

Figure 1.1: Schematic Diagram of the Methodology of the Study



Physical Characteristics

Physical characteristics of a pourashava is determined by considering some specific parameters like location, geographical extent, topography, climatic condition and land use pattern etc. Based on these parameters the physical characteristics of both Manikganj and Madhabdi Pourashavas will be described in this section.


Madhabdi Pourashava is situated in Narsingdi District. Narsingdi is an industrial and commercial area on the west bank of about 58 km north-east of Dhaka. On account of the local textile mills, Madhabdi is mainly an industrial and commercial zone in Narsingdi District. Madhabdi is 43 km away from capital Dhaka. Dhaka-Sylhet Highway passes through this pourashava. Sheker Char and Hanumontopur are at the northern side; Austopaika, Algi, Choddopaika and part of the Kotualir Char are at the eastern side; Choto Ramchondi, part of Birampur and part of Kotualir Char are at the southern side and Araihazar Thana of Narayanganj District at the western side of the pourashava. Road transportation is the best way of communication with this Pourashava. It is located between 23059/ and 24001/ north latitudes and between 90040/ and 90044/ east latitudes (Google Earth). In the rainy season, Mora Brahmaputra River can be used to communicate with the pourashava from any part of the country, especially from the eastern side of the pourashava. Baburhat and Sheker Char markets are famous throughout the country as trade centers of quality cloths.

Manikganj Pourashava is the most populous area of Manikganj District. Manikganj Pourashava is the only urban area of the Thana. Nothing is definitely known about the date of creation and origin of the name Manikganj. It is learnt that the previous name of Manikganj was Dakra. There came a saint named Manik Darbesh and he

settled here. He was very pious. He was very co-operative minded and helpful to all. It is said that he was endowed with some spiritual powers. People of all classes and religions went to him when they were confronted with any problem. Later on, a trading center meaning Ganj in Bengali around the hermitage of that saint was developed. It is generally believed that that the name of Dakra was changed into Manikganj after the name of Manik Darbesh. It is located between 23046/ and 23051/ north latitudes and between 89058/ and 900 07/ east latitudes (Google Earth). The pourashava is bounded on the northern side by Saturia Thana, on the southern side by Harirampur Thana and Nawabganj Thana of Dhaka District and on the western of Ghior and Harirampur Thanas. Manikganj Pourashava is not very far (75 km) from the capital city Dhaka.

Geographical Extent

Madhabdi Pourashava was established on 2 July 1994 with about 5.09 sq. km of area. There are nine wards in this pourashava. Ward 1 comprises Anandi, part of Godaichar, part of Choto Madhabdi. Ward 2 comprises Godaichar and it is the largest ward of the pourashava. Ward 3 comprises Choto Madhabdi. Ward 4 comprises part of North Birampur. Ward 5 comprises part of South Birampur. Ward 6 comprises Boro Nowapara and Tata Para and it is the smallest ward of the pourashava. Ward 7 comprises Monoharpur and Kotualir Char. Ward 8 comprises Parkasipur, Monoharpur, a part of Choto Madhabdi and a part of Kotualir Char. Ward 9 comprises a part of Kotualir Char.

Table 2.1: Ward wise area distribution of Manikganj and Madhabdi Pourashava

Ward no. Area (in sq. km)
Madhabdi Manikganj
01 0.98 3.71
02 1.30 6.32
03 0.24 4.33
04 0.47 6.20
05 0.38 2.88
06 0.25 2.22
07 0.36 4.36
08 0.43 3.05
09 0.69 6.02
Total 5.10 39.09

Source: Population Census-2001

Manikganj Pourashava was established in 1972. At present it occupies an area of 39.09 sq. km previously, in beginning which was 20.60 sq. km. The pourashava, like many other pourashavas, consists of nine wards in place of the previously set-up three wards. Ward 1 comprises Banagram Chak, Gangadar Patty, Noakanda and Porra. Ward 2 comprises Bara Bagjaria, Bhuijoyra, Manura, West Seota and North Seota. Ward 3 comprises Boitara, Bhanumati, Barai, Jhikuria, Kanderkand, Khilkinda, Narangai, Nabagram. Ward 4 comprises Bagjuri, Char Hijulia, Dhakuapara, Hijuli, Malancha, Patai and Raintha. Ward 5 comprises East Dashora. Ward 6 comprises West Dashora. Ward 7 comprises Ander Manik, Beotha, Char Butta, Helachai and Joynagar. Ward 8 comprises South Seota, Kandapaul, West Bandalia and Ward 9 comprises Barashurundi, Bolla, Kusher Char, Algir Char and Sonakanda.


The general topography of Madhabdi Pourashava is flat with little slopes. The area near the Asian Highway is much more sloping than other areas of the pourashava. The average elevation above mean sea level is 23.65/ with the lowest and the highest parts being 12/ and 25/ respectively. Most settlements are above the 21/ contours while land below 16/ is used for agricultural purpose. Nevertheless, there are settlements between 17/ and 21/ levels. There is a river named “Mora Brahmaputra” which flows through Madhabdi Pourashava. During the dry season there is little water in the river and in the rainy season it turns overburdened and causes devastating flood by turning overburdened and consequent havoc by submerging and inundating the adjoining areas. There are also some water bodies such as ponds, ditches etc. here.

In Manikganj Pourashava most of the land is low-lying. The pourashava is within the flood level. Here flood has become a regular phenomenon. So, constructions of new buildings require more cost and also require more soil to make the land free from recurring natural calamity. But low land is suitable for cropping specially for rice production. There are five ponds in the pourashava. The ponds are mainly used for fishing. A channel flows through the pourashava. The channel has historical importance. Earlier it was the only communication network of the area. The channel was used for carrying goods and transportation purpose. But at present, the channel is in the process of vanishing due to encroachment. By removing the illegal structures over it and ensuring regular drainage, it can be used both for communication and recreational purposes.

Climatic Condition

There is no local meteorological office to forecast the weather at Madhabdi Pourashava. Only in Narsingdi, there is a rain gauge, but the meteorological office does not have any other hi-tech measuring device. So, considering the proximity to Dhaka, the climatic features of Madhabdi may be expected to be similar. The maximum and minimum temperatures are around 380C in summer and 90C in winter respectively. In summer (March-May) the mean temperature is 280C while in winter (November-January) it is around 220C. The average annual rainfall in Madhabdi is 2,127 mm. with the heaviest precipitation occurring during the June-August period.

As Manikganj Pourashava is located very near to Dhaka City, the climatic condition of the pourashava is the same as Dhaka. So, the precipitation and temperature scenario are almost same as those of Madhabdi. The overall climatic circumstances are quite favorable for most of the commercial and industrial activities.

Land Use Pattern

Land use pattern of Madhabdi is mixed, consisting of residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural uses. Maximum portion of land is used for agricultural (25%) purposes. Then come industrial (20%) and commercial purposes (15%) as well as residential purpose (15%). There are some open spaces for recreational use for the poura-dwellers. But the pattern of different land uses is unplanned. In the Table, land use scenario of both Madhabdi and Manikganj Pourashavas are depicted based on the sector wise percentage of the total area.

Table 2.1: Land Use Pattern

Sector Percentage of land use (%)
Madhabdi Manikganj
Agricultural and Open Space 25.0 30.0
Recreational 0.5 1.5
Religious 1.0 3.0
Public Administration 2.0 3.0
Civic Amenities 3.0 5.0
Educational Institution 3.0 5.0
Road Network 7.0 8.0
Others 8.5 5.0
Commercial Institutions 15.0 10.0
Residential 15.0 20.0
Industrial 20.0 10.5

Source: Prepared based on the collected data from Manikganj and Madhabdi Pourashavas

Land use of Manikganj

In Manikganj there is no land use regulation. All of the settlements are built in unplanned way. Residential settlements are built along the channel. Most of the settled areas belong to Ward 5 and Ward 6 where 16,094 people live according to the data collected from Manikganj Pourashava Office. The second highest built-up area belongs to Wards 2 and 4. The ratio of vacant land is higher in Ward 7 than in any other ward because the balu-mahal is situated here. The highly dense residential areas are Manara, Joynagar, West Dashora, East Dashora, Narangai, Patal, Dakuapara, Barai and Joyra. Commercial and business areas are located along the Shahid Rafiq Uddin Sharani, Beotha and around the Manikganj bus terminal area. Land in agriculture, residential, industrial and commercial use is 30%, 20%, 10.5% and 10% respectively. Total agricultural land of the pourashava is approximately 100 acres.

Socio-Economic Characteristics

Demographic information, employment pattern, slums and squatter settlements, and commerce, trade and business are some of the major criteria for having an idea aboutthe socio-economic characteristics of any pourashava. Based on these factors, the socio-economic characteristics of both of our selected pourashavas will be described in this section.

Demographic Information

Demographic information includes the size and composition of present and future population, age, sex, education, mobility and so on. It also includes analyses of the social and indexes of function such as health, welfare, crime etc.

Population Structures

According to the Population Census of 2001, the total population of Madhabdi Pourashava is 22,732 of which 13,090 are male and 9,42 are female. Among the total population, about 65% of the population is adult, 58% of the total population is male and 42% of the total population is female. At that time the sex ratio is 135 male per 100 female. The detail of population structure in 2001 is provided in the following table.

Table: Ward wise households and population distribution in Madhabdi

Ward no. Households Population Sex Ratio
Male Female Total
01 351 1,044 772 1,816 135
02 509 1,388 965 2,353 143
03 545 1,232 704 1,936 175
04 731 1,886 1,179 3,065 159
05 466 1,392 1,080 2,472 128
06 509 1,485 1,140 2,625 130
07 570 1,604 1,327 2,931 120
08 665 1,863 1,477 3,340 126
09 497 1,196 998 2,194 119

Source: Population Census-2001

According to the Population Census of 2001, Manikganj is a pourashava of 52,826 people among whom 27,485 are male and 25,341 are female. At that time the prevailing sex ratio was 107 male for per 100 female.

Table 2.3: Ward wise households and population distribution in Manikganj

Ward no. Households Population Sex Ratio
Male Female Total
01 1,713 4,230 3,805 8,035 111
02 1,151 3,255 2,774 6,029 117
03 1,080 2,667 2,472 5,139 108
04 1,138 2,573 2,524 5,097 102
05 990 2,396 2,300 4,696 104
06 1,905 4,150 3,474 7,624 119
07 2,095 4,734 4,609 9,343 103
08 424 895 950 1,845 94
09 1,109 2,585 2,433 5,018 106

Source: Population Census-2001

The literacy rate of Madhabdi Pourashava is satisfactory in comparison to other pourashavas of the country. But being a pourashava of Dhaka division and very closer to the capital city Dhaka, the rate is not appreciable. Although the literacy rate of the ward nos. 3, 4, 5 and 8 is above 60%. But the same of ward nos. 6 and 9 offer very indecent image-just less than 40%. The detail of the literacy scenario is provided in the following table.

Table: Ward wise literacy scenario of Madhabdi Pourashava

Ward no. Literacy rate (7+years)
Male Female Total
01 61.02 53.06 57.73
02 65.37 53.98 60.70
03 70.92 46.94 62.70
04 79.46 69.38 75.68
05 74.07 61.72 68.73
06 30.97 32.13 31.47
07 64.38 55.19 60.27
08 76.15 65.78 71.63
09 41.05 32.66 37.21

Source: Population Census-2001

Manikganj Pourashava is well known for its higher level of literacy rate. The gross literacy rate is about 66% according to the Population Census of 2001. Although the pourashava is still in agro-based type but there is no ward of containing less than 50% literacy rate which is really admirable. The detail of the literacy scenario is provided in the following table.

Table: Ward wise literacy scenario of Manikganj Pourashava

Ward no. Literacy rate (7+years)
Male Female Total
01 84.39 72.62 78.59
02 60.64 49.96 55.73
03 77.95 69.21 73.77
04 59.44 48.35 53.92
05 80.72 71.94 76.37
06 81.17 71.14 76.62
07 70.32 58.68 64.58
08 64.33 51.09 57.48
09 59.88 50.53 55.37

Source: Population Census-2001

Population Density

Madhabdi Pourashava is basically an industrial area. So, the density of population here is very high in comparison to other pourashavas of the country. The gross density is approximately 4,500 persons per sq. km according to the Population Census 2001. Here ward no. 6 is the highest populous ward and ward no. 8 is the lowest populous area. The ward-based population density is provided in the following table.

Table: Ward wise population density of Madhabdi Pourashava

Ward no. Density (per sq. km)
Madhabdi Manikganj
01 1,853 2,166
02 1,810 954
03 8,066 1,187
04 6,521 822
05 6,505 1,630
06 10,500 3,434
07 8,141 2,143
08 7,767 605
09 3,179 833

Source: Population Census-2001

In Manikganj Pourashava area, the densely populated areas are Manara, Joynagar, West Dashora, East Dashora, Narangai, Patal, Dakuapara, Baira and Joyra. The gross density of Manikganj Pourashava is about 1,400 persons per sq. km. Wards 2, 4, 8 and 9 belong to the least populated area because of the absence of appropriate infrastructure as well as inadequate services. Ward no. 6 is the highest populous locality. The growth of population had decreased during 1981-1991 and then increased in 1991-2001. But population density of Sadar Thana is increasing steadily at a constant rate due to the emerging trend of rapid industrialization.

Floating and Migrating Population, Daily Commuters and Unrecorded Population

Floating population are the mobile and vagrant category of rootless people who have no permanent dwelling units and they are found in the rail station, launch-ghat, bus-station, hat-bazars, stair cases of buildings and open spaces etc. Floating population represents a grim picture of extreme poverty and is considered as the basic cause behind other crucial problems. “Rootless people” are defined as landless people who have lost even the homestead areas of their parents and/or of themselves. The influx of population from rural areas to urban areas has been growing fast due to natural calamities and social factors as well as economic reasons. In Manikganj Pourashava, there is no actual data available about floating population but during visit some floating people were found in the court building area and in the bus terminal area.

Migration plays a vital role in urban growth. A six-month interval is used as a cut-off point for considering one as a migrant except for marriage. A person will be considered a migrant if he or she has stayed or is likely to stay for a period of at least six months from elsewhere at his or her place of residence. There is no time limit for the migrant who changes his/her place of residence for marriage.

Within Manikganj, the migration trend is 0.41 from rural to urban. But in case of outside of Manikganj, it is about 0.29 for rural to urban and for urban to urban is 0.04(Urban Slums and Squatter Settlement Report-1997).

In Madhabdi Pourashava, very few people were seen along roadside, bus stand, and some places in the open air. These floating people are mainly day laborers that are mainly engaged in carrying industrial and commercial goods.

The people who visit the pourashava but do not stay at night are termed as daily commuters. Tuesday and Saturday are hat bars, so people come to the pourashava for buying and selling goods from outside of the pourashava but they cannot stay in the pourashava at night even if need arises because there is no residential hotel in this locality. So, the number of daily commuters is quite large. But as yet no survey has been conducted regarding the commuters, their actual number cannot be determined.

The people who are living in the area but are not recorded in the census are the unrecorded population. The people who have come to the pourashava for living permanently after the latest census year are the unrecorded population. The number of unrecorded population is negligible in this pourashava according to the concerned officials.

Holding Records

Holding records are very important document for every pourashava. Because through holding records the pourashava authority gets an idea about the number of poura inhabitants upon which they prepare budget and future plan by analyzing the demand of different utilities and services.

Table: Types and Number of Holdings (2003-04)

Holding Types



Residential 12,919 6,375
Commercial 163 185
Government Officials 91 15
Industry 38 65
Welfare Institution 33 17
NGOs 29 5
Others 11 14

Source: Manikganj and Madhabdi Pourashava Offices

Employment Pattern

Employment pattern of an area influences the development activities. Secondary data about the employment pattern of Madhabdi Pourashava is not available. However, from primary source it was reported that about 70% of the population is involved in business sector. Most of the people are engaged in industrial sector. About 20% people are involved in agricultural sector. There are also some government and private employees in this area. Most of the women are housewives and remaining portion of the women is working in different types of industries, government offices, commercial and private offices.

Table: Income Level of the Households of Manikganj and Madhabadi Pourashavas

Pourashava Income level (per month) on the basis of households
Up to Tk. 2000 Tk. 2001-8000 Tk. 8001-15000 Tk. Above 15000
Manikganj 558 6,542 4,068 1,162
Madhabdi 274 3,204 1,993 569

Source: Population Census-2001

In Manikganj Pourashava, the main source of income of the households is agriculture. About 30% of them are dependent on agriculture. Dependency on employment and business are 25% and 20% respectively. There is 5% non-agricultural labor (Manikganj Pourashava Office). The women are relatively more active than men. The women are mostly engaged in handicrafts. The inhabitants of Ward 1, 5 and 6 are relatively more engaged in business and the inhabitants of Ward 8 and 9 are mainly engaged in agriculture. The major share of the people earns money from other activities such as seasonal business and seasonal labor and also from some unspecified works.

Commerce, Trade, Business and Industries

Madhabdi is predominantly a commercial as well as an industrial area. Here a larger portion of taxes and revenues are generated from the industrial and commercial sectors. These sectors control the development of Madhabdi Pourashava. Most of the people are involved in business, trade and industry. Tuesday and Sunday have been declared as hat bars at the famous Baburhat and Sheker Char. A large number of people from different parts of the country come to this area for trading. So, huge amount of trips are generated from different parts of the country to this area for buying cloths. Bundles of cloths are bought and sold in this area during the market days. Goods are loaded on trucks and vans on market days and transported to different parts of the country. Almost all of the industries in this area are textile-oriented. There are also some banks. Most of the shops are found in the market area.

Manikganj is mainly an agro-based area. Most of the people are involved in agriculture. Some of them are involved in different types of businesses. As Manikganj is near the capital Dhaka and movement is very convenient both in roads and waterways, the trend of setting up of different types of industries are observing here.

Slums and Squatters Settlements

A slum is a cluster of compact settlements having five or more households, which generally grows very unsystematically and haphazardly in an unhealthy condition on government or private vacant land. Slums also exist in the owner based households premises. After emergence of Bangladesh as an independent country in 1971 most urban areas were confronted with the problems of a sudden influx of people coming from all over the country for livelihood. With the passage of time, influx of population from the rural areas to metropolitan areas has multiplied. A large portion of them started building unauthorized shanty houses in abandoned land, khas or government land along the shoulders of the highways, within the rail stations, industrial belts etc.

In Madhabdi Pourashava there is no slum and squatter. Most of the people here are involved with some sorts of business. It is predominantly a commercial and industrial area. So, the average income level of this area is much higher. The dwellers have the capability to pay for house rent. As a result, slums and squatters have not grown in this area.

In Manikganj, there are four slums and the slum dwellers’ main source of income comes from rickshaw pulling. On the average, 5% of the slum dwellers are agriculture laborers whereas 10% of the dwellers are involved in begging, 20% of the slum dwellers are industrial laborers and most of the slum dwellers jobs are not specified. However, Beotha Ferry Ghat Slum comprised the highest 43 households in 2001.

Table 2.4: Main Features of Slums in Manikganj Pourashava

Sl. no Location of the slum Ward no. Household


Male Female Total
01 Kali Bari 1 9 19 18 37
02 Beotha Ferry Ghat 1 43 72 78 150
03 Ferry Ghat Bazar 2 13 20 24 49
04 Power House Para 2 17 24 32 56

Source: Census of Slum Areas and Floating Population-2001

It is evident that the highest numbers of slums are located on government land and semi-government land (55%) and covers 60% of the total area occupied as slums. The next largest numbers of slums are located on private land (45%) covering 35% of the total land occupied by the slum dwellers (Rural and Urban Development Organization Report -2004).



Utility Services

Water supply, sewerage, sanitation and conservancy are the four basic components of utility services. Every inhabitant of the pourashava has the legal right to enjoy these services at a satisfactory level because they are paying taxes. In this section access of dwellers of both Manikganj and Madhabdi Pourashavas to utility services will be described.

Water Supply

Water is inseparable and indispensable demand of all human beings. Access to pure and safe water is one of the most fundamental rights of every inhabitant. In Madhabdi Pourashava water supply scenario is really unexpected. There is no piped water supply system in this pourashava. Almost all people of this pourashava are to depend on tube wells. Among total tubewells, a small number is privately owned and most are publicly owned.

Table: Ward wise distribution of drinking water sources in Madhabdi Pourashava

Ward no. Sources of drinking water
Tubewelll Well Pond Other
01 295 1 0 0
02 453 1 0 1
03 384 2 0 3
04 663 0 1 0
05 436 5 1 1
06 443 2 0 20
07 519 2 0 4
08 569 3 0 1
09 461 1 0 0

Sources: Population Census-2001

The Manikganj Pourashava is bisected by the Kaliganga River. The area on the southern side of the pourashava does not get any piped water supply facility. Geographically Manikgnanj Pourashava falls under the major arsenic contaminated zone of the country. To save the inhabitants from danger caused by arsenic contamination the “Arsenic and Iron Removal Plant” was established here in 1998 and handed over to the pourashava authority in December 1999. It was a project of the Danish International Development Authority (DANIDA) under the supervision of Department of Public Health and Engineering (DPHE). Such plants exist in only sixteen districts throughout the country. The plant can remove up to 0.8 mg/l of arsenic where the government approved drinking standard for Bangladesh is 0.5 mg/l. However, it can completely remove iron from water.

Table: Ward wise distribution of drinking water sources in Madhabdi Pourashava

Ward no. Sources of drinking water
Tap Tubewelll Well Pond Other
01 635 926 31 1 33
02 53 1,053 6 0 28
03 479 505 5 0 16
04 113 995 5 4 18
05 568 412 3 0 2
06 1,160 350 3 5 91
07 1,288 679 6 0 46
08 25 330 4 0 63
09 244 813 2 0 18

Sources: Population Census-2001

But the existing water supply facility is not adequate for the area in consideration of demand. It can supply only 25% of the total population (DPHE Data Book). The people depriving from the piped water supply facility use tubewells, ponds and rivers. Tubewells are mainly used for drinking purpose and ponds as well as rivers are used for bathing and washing purpose. Many tubewells marked red for arsenic contamination are used nevertheless, which is detrimental to public health. In this sector the system loss is about 30% (Manikganj Arsenic and Iron Removal Plant Office). Unfortunately many people use this treated water for irrigation purpose, which causes inadequacy of supply. There are about 22 km of pipe line have been provided for water supply of which the average annul extension is about 3 km. The detail inventory of this sector is shown in Table 3.1.

Table: Water Supply Inventory for Manikganj Pourashava

Type of structure No. / Quantity
Iron Removal Plant (IRP) 01
Arsenic Removal Plant (ARP) 01
Overhead Tank (1 lakh gallon) 01
Deep tube well for drinking water 02
Tube well 1125
Average extension of pipe line per year 3 km
Piped water coverage 25
Served population 17,411
Pipeline 31 km
Water production 1614 m3/day
Current water production per capita 93 l/c/d
Current pipeline per capita 1.78 m

Source: Manikganj Pourashava Office and DPHE Data Book

For ensuring uninterrupted water supply and better management, the whole pourashava is divided into two blocks- Block A and Block B. When water is supplied in Block A, Block B remains out of service and vice versa. The time distribution for water supply in the blocks is shown in Table 3.2. The water supply usually starts at 6:00 a.m. with Block A.

Table: Time Distribution of Water Supply at Manikganj Pourashava

Supply Time
Block A 6:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m.
Block B 8:00 a.m.-10: 30 a.m.
Block A 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Block B 1:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Block A 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Block B 7:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m.

Source: Arsenic and Iron Removal Plant Office of Manikganj Pourashava

After 10:30 p.m. the whole plant is prepared for the next day through a washing process. The treatment plant authority maintains both the service and billing system. It is the only sub-sector of the pourashava where there is no deficiency. The billing system is based on the use category and diameter of pipelines. Rates for pipes of different diameters and holding types are shown in Table.

Table: Water Rate Inventory of Manikganj Pourashava

Use category Pipe diameter



(Tk. /month)

Residential-A 0.75 180.00
Residential-B 0.5 110.00
Commercial-A 1.5 3,000.00
Commercial-B 1.0 850.00
Commercial-C 0.75 300.00
Hospital, PWD 2.0 6,000.00

Source: Arsenic and Iron Removal Plant Office

From the above-mentioned Table, it is revealed that there are two types of residential use categories and in case of commercial use it is of three types. The classification is based on the diameter of the pipe. As hospitals and Public Works Department (PWD) offices as well as quarters are provided with the pipeline of highest diameter (2 inch), their monthly rate is fixed up as Tk. 6,000 per month.

he area is naturally low and there are ponds, ditches throughout the area. Again, a canal and a river have surrounded it. The pourashava has a deficit of revenue at about one crore taka. These are other major barriers to the arrangement of a successful water supply system.



Pourashava population

Served population Unserved population Unserved population

Giving 70% coverage

Cost for 12

Hour operation

With 70% coverage


Cost per capita


69,644 17,411 52,233 31,340 108,360 2.2

Source: DPHE Data Book

In Manikganj Pourashava, the number of total connection is 2,718 among them 2,628 are residential, 4 are residential and 86 are commercial connections. There are six deep tube wells of 350 mm X 150 mm in diameter. There is also a sub-meters pump with 120m3/h

capacity. There are also 2 reservoirs of 650m3 in capacity and a overhead tank of 450 m3 in capacity. At present there are 16 water supply staff engaged to supply approximately 3400m3 of water per day. The monthly operation cost is on an average Tk. 1, 60,000. At present 1,171 tube wells are enlisted as active and 224 tube wells are contaminated with arsenic (Arsenic and Iron Removal Plant Office).

Proposed Infrastructure:

Pourashava Unserved population Unserved population


70% coverage

Additional water production









Capital investment-no treatment


Capital investment- treatment


Manikganj 52,233 31,340 4,248 1,254 57.42 96.94 389.97
Madhabdi 15,798 11,059 1,499 442 20.26 34.21 137.61

Source: DPHE Data Book


The basic functions of the conservancy department of the pourashava are:

1. Solid waste collection and disposal in proper and hygienic way

2. Elimination of stray dogs

3. Effective measures against mosquitoes (both in direct and indirect ways)