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Our policymakers often have strange ideas. They have a penchant for construction at any open space. Constructions means getting a commission from the contact of the project, helping someone secure the work, etc. And this has given them the impetus to build various structures, including an underground car parking facility, a beautiful lake surrounded by walkways, an underpass, a mosque, a children park's with the latest rides, food courts and a power sub-station under the third phase of the project since 2018. Where there are the Shawdhinata Stambha and the Shikha Chironton (eternal flame), what justification is there to build new structures here? Building a concrete jungle surrounding the Shawdhinata Stambha does not necessarily uphold the memory of the liberation war.

There is a court order on the preservation of the historic sites including Suhrawardy Udyan. Development activities will have to be carried out there keeping the trees and plants. The order of the High Court can’t be ignored in the name of any development project. There is a large restaurant in Ramna Park next to Suhrawardy Udyan and most of the time it remains empty. So, we don’t think that there is any logic to build more restaurants at Suhrawardy Udyan.

Any city requires a green space of 20 per cent of its total area, but Old Dhaka has 5 per cent and the new part of Dhaka city has 12 per cent. We have destroyed many parks before. The Bangladesh China Friendship Center is evident that environmentalists are more far-sighted than the government’s policymakers. Environmentalists protested after the Awami League government took the initiative to build the center at Osmani Udyan during its 1996-2001 tenure. Finally, the government was forced to move it to Agargaon. If the government built the auditorium at Osmani Udayn by not listening to the environmentalists, what would happen then? The auditorium would have declared abandoned immediately.

So we will tell the people involved in the project at Suhrawardy Udyan, “Look before you leap.” Stop building unnecessary structures at Suhrawardy Udyan immediately. No restaurant can be built there on any excuse. A park located in Kolkata city in the Indian state of West Bengal has kept its nature untouched for a century. And we have brought Suhrawardy Udyan on the verge of destruction in less than half a century. What is the answer to such imprudence?

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