The work of creating a Geographical Information System (GIS) map of Chattogram city to bring momentum in the development activities of the port city has been stopped as the project did not get any money from the city corporation in the last one and a half years.
On 15 January 2020, Chattogram City Corporation signed an agreement with the Institute of Water Modelling (IWM) to create a GIS map of the port city under the initiative of AJM Nasir Uddin, then mayor of the city.
However, the city corporation has not allocated any money for the project since Nasir's tenure ended on 5 August 2020.
On 6 August 2020, Awami League leader Khorshed Alam Sujon was appointed as the administrator of the city corporation. After serving for 180 days, his term ended on 1 February 2021. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury took over as the new mayor on 15 February last year.
Abu Saleh Khan, executive director of the Institute of Water Modelling, told The Business Standard, "The city corporation stopped giving money after the change of mayor. Currently, the work of this project is stopped."
"We were given around Tk1 crore during the tenure of former mayor AJM Nasir Uddin. We started Field Verification Survey but we could not continue it as there was no fund allocation," he added.
Earlier, the initiative to create a GIS map of Chattogram city was taken in 2015. But the initiative did not succeed as the project implementing company Arc Bangladesh could not finish the work. However, the city corporation signed an agreement with IWM five years after the failure of the first initiative with an estimated cost of Tk13 crore.
Dr Mollah Md Awlad Hossain, director, ICT-GIS Division, IWM, said, "Geographical 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 business using this digital system. GIS maps provide insights into the nature of climate change, natural disasters, and population dynamics."
"Information about the infrastructures of all the wards of the city and geographical environment can be known instantly through this system. It will be easier to manage development activities and to collect household taxes if we can create the map," he added.
The Business Standard tried to contact Mayor Rezaul Karim Chowdhury and Mohammad Shahidul Alam, chief executive officer of the city corporation, several times to have their comment on the matter. But they did not receive the call. Messages sent to their mobile phones were also unanswered.
However, Humayun Kabir, the accounting officer (acting) of the city corporation, said, "Before me, Mohammad Saifuddin was in charge of accounting here. During his tenure, some money was paid to the Institute of Water Modeling (IWM). But no money was paid in the next one and a half years."