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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Drug addicts, not children, throng Russel Shishutosh Angan

Update : 16 May 2015, 07:44 PM

More than a year into its completion, the Sheikh Russel Shishutosh Angan – a park built near Dhanmondi lake for the residents of Dhanmondi and its adjacent area – is yet to open to public.

It has become a haven for all sorts of antisocial activities due to slack security and monitoring of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC).

The construction work of the park was completed by the 16 Engineering Construction Battalion under Bangladesh Army in April, 2014 and was handed over to DSCC in June.

Named after the youngest brother of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the park was supposed to provide an escape from the chaos of urban life for the people living in Dhanmondi, Kalabagan, Shukrabad, Sobahanbagh and other nearby areas.

However, the locals alleged that they were denied entry into the park by a middle aged man who claimed himself to be the security guard of the park.

“The children do not get permission to enter but drug addicts and even sex workers can go in. It is destroying the atmosphere of the area,” Habibur Rahman, a resident of Dhanmondi, said.

Taslima Akhter from Shukrabad expressed the same sentiment and urged the authorities to open the park to children soon.

A group of children playing at Kalabagan playground said they were not allowed inside the park as the security guard told them that they could only enter after the park was inaugurated by the prime minister.

During a visit to the park yesterday afternoon, the Dhaka Tribune correspondent found truth to the residents’ claim.

In the security guard room at the main entrance, a man of around 35 years was having his meal. Just beside him a group of teenagers, about 16 years of age, was smoking cannabis.

The man, Alamgir, claimed himself to be the caretaker of the park.

“The army officials who built the park had given me the responsibility,” he added.

When contacted, Chief Executive Officer of the DSCC Mohammad Ansar Ali Khan, said: “We just appointed a private company to take care of the park.”

He, however, denied to tell the name of the company.

Sayeed Khokon, the newly elected mayor of the DSCC told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday: “I’ve just started my work and have no information about the issue.”

He, however, assured to take it up with the officials and take step to open the park to public.

In 2011, under the government’s initiative to develop Dhanmondi lake, the project of Russel Shishutosh Angan was given to Bangladesh Army. Bhitti Sthapati Brindo worked as the consultant of the project. 

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