Hatirjheel-Begunbari road opens to public
BGMEA Bhaban yet to be pulled downFerdous Ara
The Hatirjheel-Begunbari road opened to public on Wednesday after the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, inaugurated the Integrated Development Hatirjheel Area, Including Begunbari Khal, Project.
Traffic on the road, however, was restricted to facilitate public viewing of the spectacular spot, the project officials said.
People in their hundreds poured into the project area after its inauguration to feast on the beauty of the spot.
A university student, Rezwana Kaisar, who came from Mohakhali with his friends, was excited to see the spacious place.
‘If this place was near my house, I would go there every day,’ she said.
Tarif Chowdhury, a private college teacher, who came from Moghbazar with a big group, including children and grand-children, said, ‘Now we have got a place for afternoon visit. We were waiting for the project inauguration because in our area there is no such place for kids to get fresh air.’
He also suggested a monitoring body to take care of such a beautiful place.
Most of the people were entering the project area leaving their vehicles outside.
The prime minister inaugurated the project Wednesday noon and after the inauguration geese were released in the lake where a boat race was organised.
Later, there were cultural programmes and fireworks.
The main objectives of the project was to improve the drainage system, connect the eastern with the western part of the capital, build a proper sewerage and construct walkways and roads around Hatirjheel and Begunbari canals to improve communications and reduce traffic jam, said project director Brigadier General Abu Syeed Md Masud.
Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha is implementing the project with the assistance from Local Government Engineering Department, Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority and the 16 Engineering Construction Battalion of the army while the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology is the consultant.
Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha project director ASM Raihanul Ferdous said landscaping, which is under the 2nd phase of this project, would need one more year to be completed.
The landscaping includes setting up of an information centre, celebration point, viewing decks, benches at different locations, game equipment for children, cycle stand and parking, passenger shed, underpass, water-taxi terminal, footbridge above the road, footbridge over the lake and terminal.
He said the project area included 46 acres of Rajuk’s land, 34 acres of other government agencies, 81 acres of Court of Wards and 141 acres of private land.
However, the project opened, allowing a 15-storey unlawfully built building of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association in the middle of the Begunbari canal.
At different times, rights and green activists demanded the demolition of BGMEA Bhaban in keeping with a High Court’s order.
Citizens Rights Movement and Initiative for Peace secretary general Tushar Rehman said the building was harmful for both the environment and the Begunbari-Hatirjheel project as it stands in the middle of the lake.
He said the court had declared the BGMEA building illegal but the government was yet to take any initiative to pull it down.
The High Court in April 2011 declared the BGMEA building illegal and asked the government to remove it in three months and restore the canal to its earlier state.
During her first tenure, in November 1998, prime minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the BGMEA building while another premier Khaleda Zia inaugurated the building in October 2006.
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Date:Thursday, 3rd January, 2013
Date:Thursday, 3rd January, 2013