No major dev within a year of inaugurationFerdous Ara
No new recreational facility was added to the much hyped Hatrijheel-Bebunbari canal project in the last one year after its splendid inauguration.
Though the project was supposed to provide game equipment for children, celebration point, viewing decks, floating decks, water-taxi terminal, an amphitheatre and many more, construction work of a few of them is going on, said the project authority.
However, experts and city people expressed deep disappointment as the project has already started losing its charm for lack of monitoring and poor water quality.
People are often seen sewing quilt, spreading clothes and chili in the sun, shooting film, running restaurant, selling futchka and chatpati, doing motor bike race, playing cricket on the road and carom by fencing a portion of the lake.
Some are also seen responding to nature’s call, dumping household wastes on the bank of the project though at some places a few people are seen busy constructing park, restaurant and foot bridges of the project.
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 Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology is the consultant.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the ‘Integrated Development of Hatirjheel Area Including Begunbari Khal Project’ in January 2, 2013 and, after the opening, the government lost its focus on the project which is destructive for the project, said consultant (LGED part) Iqbal Habib.
He pointed out two main challenges for the project — delay in construction of Daserkandi Treatment Plant and lack of any monitoring authority.
The construction of Daserkandi Plant, which was planned to treat the lake water of Hatirjheel and surrounding areas, has not yet started even one year after the inauguration of the project, said Iqbal.
Hatirjheel WASA part project director Shahiduddin has said DWASA have already started the construction of a temporary pumping station at Rampura which will pump out the water from the lakes.
Shamaila, a resident of Eskaton, blamed the authorities concerned for the poor quality of the lake water.
Another resident Tareq Wazed of Badda has said Rajuk was supposed to build many recreational facilities for the city dwellers but nothing they have done in the past one year.
He criticised that even they did not get time to install road sign for traffic management and in the middle of the lake the high-rise building of BGMEA remains a glaring defiance of RAJUK.
Rajuk project director Arifur Rahman has said already they have fulfilled the project’s main objectives — improving the drainage system, connecting the eastern with the western part of the capital, building a proper sewerage, and constructing roads around Hatirjheel and Begunbari canals to reduce traffic jam.
After inauguration, they have completed 60 per cent work of the last phase and at present they are removing sludge from the lake and in the next monsoon the water quality will be much better, he has claimed.
By June 2014 they would complete construction of two u-loops, amphitheatre, two water taxi terminals, kid zone, installing road signs and two decks, he hoped.
He also said that they did not make any final decision regarding the BGMEA building.
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