|Published : 19 Mar 2017, 20:37:58|
Good, bad and ugly sides of CSR
BLESSINGS of development have turned into a curse for Dhaka city. Particularly, flyover construction sites have become a kind of war zone, where no passer-by feels safe walking below or close to them. Incidents of several deaths took place under different flyovers. Now that the metro rail project is about to start, it means another few years of nightmare ahead of us.
Still, both the city corporations and the RAJUK are putting in some efforts to provide the city with a minimum level of beauty. With budgetary constraints of the public bodies, the beautification projects are being 'sponsored' by different corporate entities. And here comes the 'ugly' factor. What happens in most cases is that the corporations focus more on advertising their products rather than actually undertaking beautification work. For example, the road-divider of Tejgaon-Airport Road has little trees which are covered under the advertising board of the sponsor company. The Doel Chattar has been redecorated recently and if you go round it, all you will see is the advertisement board of a bank. Most of the times sponsors' jobs are finished with mounting advertising boards which are left without any further maintenance.
A different scene however can be seen on the Banani-Airport Road. Much of the outcome of the ongoing project is visible already. It is truly an excellent job and an example of what actually should be done when a corporate body sponsors this kind of project. The estimated cost of decorating this 6-km long road is Tk 1100 million.
Many corporate bodies are associated with beautification works of a number of roads and road islands as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR). But in most cases what they are doing is just covering the road dividers and road islands with fountains and monuments with sub-standard materials. Beautification of the Banani-Airport Road can be treated as a model for decoration of other roads. More corporate bodies with higher financial abilities should come forward and set examples. They should spend their money in a way that benefits the people and serve their purpose of advertisement.
Gazi Abul Hasnut
East West University