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DSCC to make city parks, playgrounds off-limits for political, public programmes

  • Published at 03:53 pm October 18th, 2017
  • Last updated at 07:16 pm October 24th, 2017
DSCC to make city parks, playgrounds off-limits for political, public programmes
Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) has decided to make all parks and playgrounds under its jurisdiction off-limits for any sorts of public gathering, including political rallies and religious or social programmes, once the development works that started recently are finished. The DSCC launched the development project to give a facelift to 19 parks and 12 playgrounds. DSCC Mayor Mohammad Sayeed Khokon inaugurated the project at the city’s Golapbagh playground. DSCC CEO Khan Mohammad Belal yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune that they would make sure that no public gathering or rallies were approved at these parks and playgrounds once the development project is completed. “These gatherings damage the trees and environment, while hampering the city dwellers’ recreational activities there. That’s why we have taken the decision,” he said. The other parks under the project are Gulistan Park, Motijheel Park, Jatrabari Chowrasta Park, Sirajuddoula Park, Sikkatuly Park, Malitola Park, Bangshal Park, and Mayor Mohammad Sayeed Khokon Park, which is also known as Sharafatganj Park. The other playgrounds set for facelifts are Kalabagan playground, Basabo playground, Sadeque Hossain Khoka playground, Delowar Hossain playground, Amligola playground, Shahid Nagar Mini Stadium, Balurghat playground, Shahid Abdul Alim playground, Samsabad playground and Bangladesh Maath. DSCC officials said Farmgate Park, Suhrawardy Udyan, Chandrima Udyan, Ramna Park and Muktangon would also be brought under this initiative soon. Most of these parks and playgrounds, including Suhrawardy, Chandrima and Ramna, in Dhaka city have become hubs for different illegal activities by squatters, drug dealers, addicts and sex workers. Meanwhile, Awami League, BNP, Jatiya Party and various political parties and organisations regularly hold rallies and programmes in Suhrawarthy Udyan. Also, BNP leaders and activists pay respects at the grave of party founder Ziaur Rahman at Chandrima Udyan on various occasions. In 2011, Dhaka Metropolitan Police had banned public gatherings at Muktangan as part of their security measures for the Secretariat, situated right beside. Police also said that such gatherings near two of the busiest intersections in the city, Paltan and Gulistan, were contributing to severe gridlocks in the area. But, a group of unscrupulous businessmen, backed by a section of ruling party men and DSCC officials, occupied the 83-decimal space and turned it into a parking lot for commercial purposes. Despite repeated media reports and public concerns over the occupation, the authorities concerned are yet to take steps to free it from the grabbers. In January, the DSCC mayor had pledged to take immediate steps to free the public parks and playgrounds in the city from the illegal occupiers.
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