The Sylhet City Corporation was previously known as The Municipality of Sylhet. The new name has been in use since 28 July 2002.
The Sylhet City Corporation
offices are located in the heart of Sylhet Town. The City Corporation
covers 26.50sqkm and is divided into 13 wards. It is responsible
for the delivery of services in road development, traffic,
sewage, garbage collection, street lighting, health, sanitation,
footpath, market, drainage, water supply, slum improvement,
death and birth registration, tax assessment and realisation.
Responsibility for the delivery of key services such as health
and Social Services is done jointly with the Civil Surgeon
and the Sylhet Medical College.
The Key decision
making process in the Authority is down to 1 elected Chairman
and 22 Commissioners. The Chairman has four key staff below
him - The Chief Executive Officer, Secretary, Executive Engineer
and Medical Officer who are in turn responsible for some 161
staff. The main priorities of the City Corporation tend to focus
on developing infrastructure in relation to health, sanitation,
water supply, cleaning, and street lighting. The areas identified
in needing further development are utilities maintenance,
funding, vehicles, skilled workforce and evaluation and planning
techniques. Any large work e.g. capital projects are tendered
out as per law.
landowners and the Government own Land. Businesses are supported
through commercial banks, central banks, and Industrial banks.
There are also agricultural banks that give business support.
Sylhet Chamber of Commerce offers training and planning support
to entrepreneurs. The existence of many agro based industries
in Sylhet means that there are specialist agencies such the
Government agriculture department, veterinary department and
the hospital who have a specific remit to offer practical
assistance. Furthermore, social entrepreneurs are encouraged
by the Social Welfare development of the Government and Sylhet
Sylhet has an existing
development plan for the Urban area, which was developed by
external consultants and provides a framework which the partners
can take forward. However, there is little consensus on how
to translate the plan into a working tool for the modern urbanisation
of Sylhet, no prioritisation of the actions necessary for
it's implementation and limited appreciation of the financial,
land use, sanitation and anti-poverty implications.
the City Corporation recognises it's current limitations and is
committed to both developing the competencies of it's staff
to manage the strategic planning process as well creating
partnership structures and consensus on priorities, financial
instruments, and the community development necessary to give
the business and resident community ownership.
Sylhet, like many
other developing secondary cities in South East Asia, faces
huge problems in its organisational model and its approach
to urban management often assuming a responsive as opposed
to an interventionist model.
This is reflected
in the short term and fragmented nature of initiatives, which
themselves act as a break on sustainability and economic growth.
Sylhet acknowledges the need to agree what is achievable in
the short and mid term and to develop a realistic set of priorities
to address, which require a wider ownership and involvement
if these are to achieve fruition. There is a clear identified
need to improving and strengthening the institutional framework.
"The shortage of adequate administrative technical and
professional capability is exacerbated by lack of co-ordination,
an unwieldy bureaucracy and poor organisation" (source:
Sylhet 5-Year Plan)
From the experience
we have gained from technical visits to Sylhet, we have also
found that the current structure is one that is heavily reliant
on the Chairman and Chief Executive officer fulfilling a range
of administrative functions, a number of which would best
be delegated both within the organisation and to appropriate
partnership structures. This dependency upon a small number
of individuals has resulted on an inward looking and less
responsive model than required for the new Millennium and
also led to various other public and private sector agencies
having proceeded with programmes/projects without consulting
or co-ordinating their efforts with the City Corporation
The culture of
Sylhet is one where the vast majority of assets and wealth
is divided amongst private individuals and the government,
with no clear consensus on the realistic financial instruments
required by the City Corporation to achieve its strategic objectives.
There is little evidence of private sector participation or
community participation in the City Corporation's affairs and
our intention is to strengthen and reposition the City Corporation
as a driving force in Urban Renewal, whilst recognising that
the achievement of its goals will largely be delivered by
the harnessing of partnership resources and solutions.
With an increase
in the urban population predicted the need to increase co-ordination
and co-operation between the municipal and national government
for finance, planning and other functions is central to good
urban resource management. This can only successfully be achieved
through capacity building in terms of training relevant staff
in urban management skills e.g. project management, community
consultation processes and health.
to a group of medium urban centres that have grown rapidly
in recent years and has steadily improved their ranks in the
urban hierarchy. However, with the introduction of the new
districts and the redistribution of administrative functions
among Sunamgonj, Maulivbazar and Habiganj (greater Sylhet),
the administrative dominance of Sylhet has somewhat been curtailed.
Sylhet City Corporation
covers an area of 26.50sqkm and a population on 500,000 this
is against a background of extremely high and rising density
of population. In 1981 Bangladesh had a population of 90 million,
it currently exceeds 100 million and is expected to reach
between 140 and 150 million by the year 2000. The increase
in population density to around 2800 people per square mile
will bring even greater difficulties in achieving levels of
food self-sufficiency as adequate nutritional levels. The
health of the citizens of Sylhet City Corporation is clearly affected
by the poor urban housing, air quality and lack of education
& infrastructure in hygiene and waste management.
Given the importance
on urban management - urbanisation in Sylhet cannot be seen
negatively but rather as an opportunity to generate sustainable
employment and a healthy financial base to underpin it's continued
economic development. This will be evidenced by the project
outcomes stated in chapter three and the creation of a sustainable
arms length regeneration company capable of winning the confidence
and financial support for a continued longer term portfolio
of projects, to be sponsored by donor agencies, private sector
investors and development banks with whom productive discussions
have already been held.
As identified in
the earlier draft bid, our programme will have 3 major demonstration
of which, within a community economic development framework,
is expected to engage local citizens in productive employment
process in which these demonstration projects will be developed
Partnership Board to agree on specific requirements for demonstration
will include gathering baseline information and conducting
a needs analysis of Sylhet with regard to the three areas
above. This will be conducted during phase 1 of the project
i.e. months 1-6
Towards the end of phase 1 i.e. months 5-6, a delivery plan
for each project will be produced. This will give a detailed
description of the work programme, specific budget, methodology
used, expected results (i.e. outputs & outcomes) and delivery
mechanisms for the project outputs. This document will be
sent to the Commission with the first evaluation report.
Partnership Board Project officer works with other agencies,
in the field, to develop the three demonstration projects.
This will be done through ways including seminars and workshops,
which will take place during year 1 of project life. This
will develop the concept for these projects, which will go
live during the following 18 months main project.
To date the development
of Sylhet has been hampered by a lack of adequate funding
and an inability to target resources and maximise funding
has made it difficult for Sylhet to realise some of their
key targets e.g.:
2000 service latrines into twin pits
Design of a comprehensive drainage scheme
Site acquisition for future low-income housing.
faced by the Sylhet City Corporation are:
Inappropriate structures to address strategic priorities
Lack of suitably skilled staff
Absence of community involvement and participation strategy
Lack of clarity
about the respective roles and co-ordination between the various
Infrastructure investment and operation, specifically in areas
such as land planning, transportation and traffic management
systems, water and waste management, and critically the maintenance
and preservation of infrastructural projects already implemented
with a resulting break on investment in the economy and serious
health and poverty considerations for the urban communities.
This project has
been identified as a direct response to address Sylhet's current
difficulty in strengthening the infrastructure to support
overall development of the town - efficient urban management
being key to this. The City Corporation then undertook a detailed
feasibility study funded by the Urban Development Directorate,
Ministry of Works, UN Centre for Human Settlements and UN
Development Programme to assess the social and economic situation
of Sylhet and recommendations for implementing the "Sylhet
The Sylhet Partnership
Project will take a new approach whereby local governments
and their partners are encouraged to tackle urban problems
by investigating new ways to solve them, taking advantage
of unused resources and opportunities