Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, several residents, who asked not to be named, claimed that executive committee members even had a “tea party” in the park amid the pandemic
It all appears to be a case of discrimination. Or call it a high-handed use of powers or an abuse of privilege.
Executive committee members of the Baridhara Society have been accused of abusing their powers by using the park themselves while keeping it closed for others due to risks of contagion amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Residents of the upscale neighbourhood in the capital Dhaka have alleged that despite a bar on the use of the park, executive committee members of the society, along with their families, visit the park almost every day.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, several residents, who asked not to be named, claimed that executive committee members even had a “tea party” in the park amid the pandemic.
“Three days ago, I spotted 4 to 5 people sitting inside the park, having snacks and exercising,” a Baridhara resident told Dhaka Tribune on Saturday.
According to him, when he asked the people in the park, who turned out to be executive committee members, about the matter, he was told to go to the park beside the Gulshan lake, which was “open for all”.
“It’s as if the park was their living room and it’s an offence for anyone else to use it,” he said.
Ten days after the government imposed a general holiday in March as a measure to shut down offices and schools to contain the spread of the virus, the Baridhara Park and the lakeside park were declared closed.
According to the Baridhara Society, the lakeside park has been open for a week now, but the Baridhara Park is still closed due to safety concerns.
The Society, however, denied the allegations and claimed that the executive committee had met in the park to discuss what it called a pressing issue.
“One of the members of the staff at our office has tested positive for Covid-19. That’s why we had a short meeting,” Faizul Islam Sarker, senior coordinator of the Baridhara Society, told Dhaka Tribune.
He said that the executive body members had refreshments as well as walked while discussing the matter. “The members were not at the park for a walk,” asserted Sarker.
Even though the city corporation is usually responsible for the maintenance of parks, the Dhaka North City Corporation has handed over responsibility for the park in question to the Baridhara Society.
Local Councillor Zakir Hossain Babul said he had also received complaints.
“I will go there and will take measures if the allegations are found to be true,” he told Dhaka Tribune on Saturday.
Baridhara residents said they had also filed a complaint with the police. However, the local Gulshan Police Station could not be reached for a comment over the phone.