Rajshahi

Shuvo Shams
2 min readOct 19, 2022

I have two questions for you.

Which city has public transport which is completely electric?

Which city has reduced the most air pollution in the world?

The answer to both questions is the same, and it will definitely surprise you.

You may think this city is in the global north. Or that this city is in places like Singapore. But you would be very wrong. This city is in the densest country in the world and happens to be one of the dirtiest.

Enough of the drama. This city is Rajshahi, it's in the north of Bangladesh.

The city is currently going through a tech revolution, just like the early years of Bangalore. And happens to be a city where they built the first cycle lane in Bangladesh.

And all these progressive things came from the fact that this city was largely ignored for connecting it to “cheap gas” and garment factories. What seemed to be discrimination became a good thing for Rajshahi.

So when Rajshahi banned petrol-powered cars and vehicles because it was polluting the city, it started to grow its own vehicles, which were battery-powered. And then came a battery revolution. Every vehicle in this country used for public transport is run on batteries. Every vehicle you may use to get from one place to another apart from the private car is electric.

It's an astonishing feat that, so far, no city has achieved to do. And it has done this quietly, so when the Guardian was looking for air pollution data, it found that this quiet city reduced dangerous air particles by 60 per cent in the span of ten years. Which is the highest in the world.

Replication of this city is already underway in many cities in Bangladesh. And soon, there might be many more coming, but lets no forget the first city to do so. I call this city my hometown, my Rajshahi.

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Shuvo Shams

Trying really hard to have one epiphany at a time in this dystopia.