Detailed Area Plan (DAP): Redefining Dhaka’s Landscape

One of the world's most densely inhabited cities, Dhaka is host to nearly 23 million people. The centralizing impact of Dhaka City has accelerated urbanization, rapid growth, and poor infrastructure, posing several problems for the inhabitants, including congested roads, unhealthy air quality, and an absence of affordable housing.  By worsening the city's environmental circumstances, it has also reduced the quality of life.

The blueprint gives a closer look at the DAP Map in Dhaka 

On July 6, 2022, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave her final approval to the Detailed Area Plan (DAP) that RAJUK had suggested and prepared in December 2021. To transform Dhaka into a livable and cutting-edge megacity by the year 2035, the 20-year master plan was adopted. However, realtors remain opposed to the new plan, saying it may cause more damage than good. Since Dhaka is considered the world's most densely populated city, there are no surprises there – moreover, the city has a reputation for being the second-unhealthiest city to live in.  The capital's centralized nature contributes to the already poor state of the environment. RAJUK developed the Dap Map of Dhaka City in an effort to enhance the conditions mentioned and guarantee a better life. In this piece, we will go over every aspect of DAP in detail.  

Let’s define a Detailed Area Plan (DAP) Map of Dhaka City

  Detailed Area Plan (DAP) map of Dhaka city   A Detailed Area Plan (DAP) often includes in-depth maps, zoning rules, and land development regulations that are particular to their assigned area. In fact, it is sometimes seen as the whole city's strategic plan, outlining how the city should expand with good planning while encouraging livability and conservation. By utilizing its advantages, cities all over the world are speeding up their expansion while maintaining it in line with the city's more general goals and vision ultimately leading to a town that is better planned and has a higher quality of life.  

What is the significance of DAP & how will it serve the purpose of the city’s betterment?

  DAP mapping is the structural planning for the affected development in the designated region. The majority of the industrial sectors are located close to Dhaka.  Already, it has made Dhaka city uninhabitable and because of this, decentralization is essential for our capital. Thus, a thorough area plan is crucial in reducing the economic reliance on downtown Dhaka.    On the flip side, Dhaka is experiencing a growing number of neighborhoods that promote a healthy lifestyle, and there is a trend towards the construction of gated communities that can enhance your quality of life in this bustling city. For instance, consider the development of the gated community of Rupayan City Uttara. This plan covers urbanization by taking into account public facilities, basic rights, and other financial aid for peaceful and environmentally friendly living.   For decentralizing Dhaka city, RAJUK designs the DAP map. The DAP process aims to foster an environment balanced for economic growth across the development regions. It is developed to enhance and secure certain areas by installing prepared drainage systems and flood flow prevention.    It plans the area's development in a systematic way, taking into account street design, outdoor spaces, community amenities, transit, and a variety of other factors, such as access roads and business districts. The urban expansion resulting from the DAP will benefit from the provision of service centers.  

Let’s look at the proposed changes

  This updated DAP map includes the city of Dhaka and the surrounding regions and includes an area of around 1,528 square kilometers. This map suggests the creation of new residential areas as well as better land development or enlargement plans for already existing regions.   The strategy has been modified to take into account the city's expanding population as well as environmental sustainability. As well as to improve the creation of transport networks in order to reduce the traffic jams in Dhaka City.   However, there will always be new obstacles to overcome when the DAP is put into practice. It has the ability to modify the city's urban landscape and make its inhabitants more comfortable.  

What benefits will the locals of Dhaka get from DAP?

  Cities like Dhaka, which have grown increasingly crowded and urbanized through time as a result of economic expansion, can benefit from urban decentralization in a number of ways. The resources and infrastructure of the city are under too much stress as a result of this development.    Dhaka can reduce stress and achieve more evenly distributed development across the nation by decentralizing urban development. In the end, it could decrease travel congestion and enhance regional availability of resources and services.   Urban decentralization's ability to decrease traffic congestion is one of its main advantages. New employment prospects and possibilities for everyone will be created through economic development in neighboring regions. Decentralization in cities will also result in better air quality.  A higher standard of life results from having more green places.  

Are there any challenges & drawbacks of DAP?

  The DAP is exceptionally developed, however, there are several issues that need to be fixed. DAP concentrates mainly on the physical development of Dhaka but neglects to focus on the socio-economic aspects of its urban growth. It leaves out the impact it will have on the city's poor residents, who essentially make up a substantial section of the population.   The following are some difficulties and restrictions with properly carrying out DAP for the goal of urban decentralization in Dhaka:  
  • The impact of government officials on the plans and the transfer of authority and assets to local authorities could make it difficult to carry out DAP. The local authorities, however, lack the expertise and capacity to manage obligations. Additionally, there might be hidden corruption as well, which would damage the entire purpose of DAP.
  • It may lead to an insufficient number of effective local government institutions in Dhaka, which is crucial for decentralization, due to weak institutional frameworks, insufficient employees, and a lack of technical experience. Additionally, they won't be able to adequately meet the demands of the community because it will restrict their ability to provide the necessary services.
  • Authorities from local governments might not have the necessary knowledge to utilize financial resources well. It may result in financial mismanagement and corrupt management.
  • DAP may cause resistance from society's citizens who are opposed to changing their comfortable way of life with innovative development initiatives. Residents may become upset as a result and the implementation may face opposition.
  Landowners, tenants, and other parties will all experience a variety of negative effects as a result of the new DAP restrictions.   
  • The landowners will be restricted to a set number of units per plot.
  • DAP regulations limit the amount of land that is usable by 20 to 40 percent, which lowers the overall amount of money that landowners receive.
  • Due to DAP seldom allowing real estate developers to work on certain sites, the share of lands is now reduced.
  • Potential tenants will be discouraged from moving to DAP-covered regions as a result of the rising rent.

How will DAP affect the real estate sector?


Real Estate Price Inflation

  Real estate agents worry that the price of flats will rise in the future as a result of the Detailed Area Plan (DAP) being implemented in Dhaka. That would make housing expensive for the middle class as a result. Although it might not happen right away, the cost of apartments will eventually rise.    The development area of housing lots will be lowered by 33-53% from the current construction area, according to DAP's. A 5-katha plot next to a 20-foot road had an approved floor design size of 13,500 square feet and eight stories in the past. This has been scaled back to 9000 square feet on five levels under DAP. Ward-wise floor area ratio (FAR) allocation is used to accomplish this.   Building floor space will drop by roughly 50% when DAP goes into effect throughout the city of Dhaka. The race to buy one apartment will be fierce because of how quickly the population is expanding and how much demand there is for apartments. As a result, the cost of one apartment could rise by roughly 25% to 30%.   Though the introduction of DAP can raise flat prices, it is anticipated to have a favorable impact on the real estate industry in the long run. As it can result in the growth of new areas in the city, it can help in reducing the effects of overcrowding. It can generate a more organized and environmentally friendly development plan.  

Affordable Housing and Housing Rights

  Urban decentralization is a strategy used by DAP to provide inexpensive homes for those living on the outer limits of Dhaka. The Detailed Area Plan (DAP) will serve as the foundation for zoning for land use, the construction of infrastructure and commercial spaces for sale in Dhaka, the planning and development of the metropolis, the provision of civic amenities, the provision of utility services, and other issues.   It's possible that DAP did not consider how other industries may be impacted by the country's economic and political stability. In addition to post-pandemic inflation and the nation's unstable economic conditions, the 269 sectors connected to the real estate sector are in danger of suffering losses as a result of DAP.   Construction costs have dramatically increased as a result of the recent rises in fuel and building material costs. Consequently, it is anticipated that apartment prices will increase, making it even more difficult for many individuals to purchase a smaller apartment or flat.   Unfortunately, this is contrary to the core goal, which is to advance equity and offer accessible housing for all.  

Tenant and Landowner Frustration

  The DAP requirements could make some landlords and tenants unhappy. However, property owners are probably the ones who will suffer the most. Due to the minimal restrictions for the amount of apartments or flats they can build on their site and the decrease in FAR, partnerships with other real estate businesses will provide much less usable area (25%–40% lower than before). As a result, it is anticipated that the cash flow created will be quite low, which would make it challenging for the realtors to partner with landlords.   Moreover, it is anticipated that rent for flats will increase because there aren't as many units available for rent in the market. Ultimately, this causes unhappiness among the tenants who would like to rent a house in a desirable neighborhood or location. Since many realtors are unaware that DAP may have an impact on these adjustments, the problem could get worse.  

Existing Projects

  DAP won't have an impact on projects that are already underway on lands that have received construction approval under the existing regulations. This implies that a flat can still be purchased for a fair price. Any land that is allowed for building after the gazette's release has to comply with DAP guidelines and charge higher rates as a result.   So now is the perfect time to take advantage of this last-minute opportunity to secure a spot inside the DAP area. You will always be able to rent or buy an apartment in Rupayan City at a fair price.    

Let’s wrap it up!

  The recently authorized Detailed Area Plan (DAP) offers improved Dhaka by addressing the capital's persistent problems. Its goal is to establish a clear foundation for how land in certain local regions should be managed and developed. The goal of the DAP is to oversee and manage the city's smooth growth while encouraging urban decentralization.   The proposal envisions Dhaka's potential transformation into a sustainable city with elevated living standards, providing the opportunity to buy villas in Dhaka or invest in condominium apartments in Uttara and various other areas across the city.   Moreover, for all its local citizens by transfer economic, social, and political influence away from the city boundaries and towards a more surrounding zone.    The article discusses what DAP is, its advantages, and its drawbacks.  It also offered additional insights, such as the newly suggested DAP Map of Dhaka City and how it will make Dhaka a more sustainable city center, as well as what might happen to the real estate market if DAP is carried out effectively.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


How much of the DAP area is covered?

  The DAP map includes the trading areas of Narayanganj, Saver, Old Dhaka, and Keraniganj from the forest Gazipur to these locations. There is a total area of 1528 square kilometers.  

How does the new DAP rule work?

  According to the recently revised DAP, the ideal amount of land cover should be computed using 80% of the block's total area. Dueling units that are accessible for single or joint plot-based living may expand from 15% to 30% in terms of area.  

What are the primary goals of DAP?

  DAP's primary goals are to carry out the recommendations and policies of the DMDP Structure Plan (SP) and Urban Area Plan (UAP) to decentralize Dhaka.