Institutional Arrangement for Undertaking Local Government Functions

There are four different types of organizations that deal with the service delivery of urban governance in Bangladesh. These bodies are categorized as municipal government, special development agencies, special purpose authority, and special government bodies (Panday 2006). CCs and Pourashavas are included in the municipal category.

CCs require cooperation and assistance from different government, autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies working within the jurisdiction ofCCs as dealing with all issues alone is quite difficult for CCs. For instance, for the purpose of providing urban planning services relating to infrastructure and site development for housing, commercial, and industrial, and so on, there are four special development authorities for four old CCs, including the RAJUKfor DCC, the Chittagong Development Authority (CDA), the Khulna Development Authority (KDA), and the Rajshahi Development Authority (RDA). These bodies are run by chairmen and boards with semiautonomous status. One important fact is that these bodies suffer from lack of community representation as most of the members of these boards are government officials that have weakened the system of accountability, credibility, and obtaining public support (Islam and Khan 1997; Panday 2006). These bodies have not been found effective in carrying out their assigned duties and responsibilities as they also suffer from inadequate management, lack the necessary interorganizational coordination, and insufficient manpower (World Bank 1985; Mohit 1992; Panday and Jamil 2011). Like other organizations, RAJUK, although situated in the capital, suffers from a number of factors that are making them ineffective. These factors are an unwillingness to adapt to new situations, inability to exert the power of leadership, absence of customer/client orientation, factionalism, low image among other organizations, as well as lack of integrity and lack of incentives (Cited in Panday 2006, 2007).

Along with the above four organizations, the government has established four other organizations, including the Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (DWASA), the Chittagong Water and Sewerage Authority (CWASA), the Rajshahi Water and Sewerage Authority (RWASA), and the Khulna Water and Sewerage Authority (CWASA) for the purpose of providing services relating to construction, improvement, expansion, and maintenance of water and sewerage services. Assigned duties and responsibilities are also carried out by chairmen and boards who are deputed by the government (Panday 2006). A number of special government bodies are specifically working in the urban areas, although they are, in theory, supposed to carry out their activities all over the country. For example, the Public Works Department has mandated responsibilities to look after the construction of government offices and buildings countrywide, but its activities have remained confined mostly within the construction of buildings in urban areas. On the other hand, the Power and Water Development Board (PWDB) that works under the Ministry of Energy has been assigned with the responsibility for the generation and distribution of electricity throughout the country. But, they require a limited range of infrastructure-related services from the Pourashavas and the CCs that facilitate the distribution of electricity in their jurisdiction. Issues relating to urban planning are dealt with by the Urban Development Directorate (UDD) under the Ministry of Public Works and Housing (MPHW) all over the country. But, at the same time, it has the responsibility of preparing and coordinating regional and master plans for cities and towns excepting 11 CCs. It also provides advice to the government in matters relating to land use and development. Taking care of issues relating to the development of water supply and sanitation in rural and urban areas, excepting cities like Dhaka and Chittagong, have been the responsibility of the Department of Public Health and Engineering (DPHE) that works under the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (MLGRD&C), and headed by a chief engineer. And finally, issues relating to low-cost sanitation, infrastructure, and improving the physical environments are taken care of by the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) that also works under the MLGRD&C. (Khan 1997; Panday 2011). Thus, CCs require to maintain relationship with different types of organizations that have different types ofaccountability pattern which indicates that working independently for the CCs is quite difficult.

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