DNCC Mayor Annisul Huq spoke to the Dhaka Tribune saying: “The handover of control is now being looked at by the Ministry of Housing and Public Works and we hope that the two city corporations will get the responsibility to clean up Dhaka’s parks soon.”
Farmgate park serves as a safe haven for the homeless, drug peddlers and junkies, sex workers and as a garbage dumb for the locals, a totally unfit environment for public use.
PWD does fall under the jurisdiction of the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC).
DNCC mayor has been trying to clean up all the parks in the city for some time now. On January 25 Annisul spoke of his intentions at a programme held at Hotel Sonargaon saying that he would take all the necessary steps to save public spaces in Dhaka including Farmgate park.
Despite regular public complains and several media reports PWD has failed to clean up the environment at Farmgate park where squatters live and sex workers conduct their business, a resident of the area Mahbub Hossain claimed.
“I used to jog at the park in the mornings and evenings but I stopped coming here because of the dirty environment,” he said.
Farmgate park is supposed to be a public space for recreation but speaking to students of Tejgaon College Dhaka Tribune found their general sentiment about the park to be extremely bad some citing the fear of being mugged, harassed or being propositioned by sex workers as reasons they do not go there.
Kutubbagh Darbar Sharif Urs are also held at the park every year which is also deterrent for the public visiting the park.
Sources at PWD sources told the Dhaka Tribune that a good number of the incumbent government ministers, MPs and leaders of the opposition support the organisation of Kutubbagh Urs at the park which is why the park authorities could not evict their activities.
They said the former chief engineer of the PWD had taken steps to evict them earlier but was unsuccessful because of political pressure.
Most parks in Dhaka city have fallen prey to such activities by squatters, drug dealers and junkies and sex workers.
Similar complains have been made against Suhrawardy Udyan, Chandrima Udyan and Ramna Park.