Activists hope authorities will drop the hospital project
Teachers, former and present students of the Fine Arts Institute of Chittagong University (CU) protested by painting pictures against the construction of a hospital at the Central Railway Building (CRB) on Thursday.
The protest started at 11am and lasted till 5pm. During this time, the artists painted the nature of CRB with their brush strokes in a different dimension.
Kajal Dev Nath, associate professor and sculptor of Fine Arts Institute at CU, said: “People usually do not live without a functioning lung. CRB is exactly the place known as the lungs of the entire city's fauna.”
He also said that destroying its nature and building a hospital is a terrible thing. Nature basically plays an effective role in building a healthy nation as well as influencing human intellectual thinking.
“If we don't think of the new generation from now on, they will be part of a sick society in the future. We can't let that happen.”
He further said: “Today, we, the teachers and the current and former students, collectively protest against the move at the CRB. We hope that neither the government nor the authorities will favor such a devastating decision.”
Piyash, a student of the Institute of Fine Arts at CU, who took part in the protest, said: “Nature inspires us to engage in art and painting. If the trees surrounding CRB have a hospital-like structure, its natural beauty will be lost.”
“New students will also be deprived of capturing such natural beauty. At some point, they will also be distracted from the artistic creation of nature,” he added.
Earlier, Bangladesh Railway and United Enterprise Ltd signed a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement on the construction of a 500-bed multi-specialized hospital and a 100-seat medical college in March 2020.
Since then, various social and environmental organizations have started a movement to stop the construction of hospitals in the CRB.
Although the movement started through various organizations, it has now taken shape with the demands of the common people.
On July 17, residents of the city held processions, a tree plantation program, formed a human chain and even engaged in other forms of protests all day against the decision.
On August 3, the mayor of Chittagong vowed to resist the planned construction of the hospital in the CRB area, considered the port city’s hub of natural oxygen.