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Thursday, July 9, 2015, Ashar 25, 1422 BS, Ramadan 21, 1436 Hijr

BBS census of slum dwellers under fire from NGOs
Special Correspondent
Published :Thursday, 9 July, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 199
Several NGOs working with the slum dwellers social development differed with the government's recent report on slum population and floating people in Dhaka on Wednesday.
In the 'Census of Slum Areas and Floating Population 2014' by state research outfit, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) claimed that the floating population has dramatically decreased from 32,081 in 1997 to 16,621 in 2014.
Moreover, the slum population has increased from 2,991 to 13,943 in 2014 and the household size has decreased from 4.16 per family in 1997 to 3.75 in 2014.
The NGOs leaders described the census report as "absurd" and stated that the census was conducted on the basis of survey methodology which was wrong and its several inputs are out of context.
They expressed concern on the BBS report at a meeting convened by Coalition for the Urban Poor (CUP), a network of NGOs, at Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), Dhanmondi.
Dr. Ehsanur Rahman, executive director DAM, Khondker Rebeka Sunyat, executive director of CUP, Prof Nurul Islam Nazem, Geography Department of Dhaka University and Mostafa Quaium Khan of Bangladesh Urban Forum along with other members criticized the slum and floating population census report.
Mostafa Quaium Khan said that the population of slum and floating people stood at 4.2 million in Dhaka metropolitan area alone. An average of several thousand people visit capital Dhaka everyday and an average of 1400 people stay back, he said.
Prof Nazem rejected the report and said that census report on slum dwellers was not comprehensive and did not match with the criteria of the appropriate census study.
Citing an example, Prof Nazem argued that in 2001, the census report claimed the rise of urban population was 23 percent, while it was 23 percent in 2011. The urbanisation is rapidly swelling all over the world, including in Bangladesh, he added.
The CUP meeting decided to challenge the census report, consult with lawmakers and demand for a fresh census of the urban slums and pavement dwellers.
On the other hand, CUP officials conducted dialogue with the BBS officials last week. They explained that the census figure has been compromised after the definition of slum and floating population that has been changed before the census began.
The BBS officials have also told CUP officials that there is no scope to scrap the report.  

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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