Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) on Sunday started work on an ‘anger management park’ in the capital which the mayor said would help the 15 million inhabitants cope with rising daily stress.
Traffic jams which keep commuters imprisoned in their cars for up to five hours a day, noise and dust pollution, rainy season chaos and petty crime are daily complaints.
Sayeed Khokon, mayor of the southern half of the giant city, hopes the $7 million 38-acre (15 hectare) park near the main government offices will ease the stress.
The Goswa Nibaroni (anger management) Park is expected to take 12-14 months to complete and will feature a lake, snack corners, relaxing music and giant-screen televisions.
The concept comes from an ancient Bangladeshi tradition in which villages had an “anger hut” on the nearest riverbank for angry people to calm down, the mayor said.
“Such ideas have long gone. Urban life can be very stressful. City dwellers easily become victims of anxiety,” Khokon told AFP.
“If you quarrel with your wife, you can go this park and relax.”
Dhaka, one of the world’s fastest growing metropolises, has been losing green space to the mass construction of new residential districts.
Once a Mughal-era garrison town famed for its tree-lined roads, Dhaka has become one of the world’s most polluted cities with levels inching closer to New Delhi.
The anger management park has divided social media opinion between supporters and those who believe it is a waste of money.
Critics say the new park could suffer the same fate as other green spaces in Dhaka which have become havens for petty criminals, sex workers and drug addicts.
“Good initiative until it becomes a paradise for drug peddling and prostitution,” Iftekhar Alam wrote on Facebook.