The two city corporations have leased out the Community Centres to various government agencies though those facilities are meant for the use of the general public for social events.
For lack of access to the Community Centres, people are left to pay for costly privately-run event venues.Records show that some nine community centres in Dhaka South City Corporation and Dhaka North City Corporation have been leased out to police and Rapid Action Battalion and an intelligence agency.
Locals of those areas alleged that the number of community centres is very few. Despite the fact, the authorities concerned leased out the centres to various organisations, compelling them to go for renting privately-run venues for hosting any programme.
There are some 46 community centres under 129 wards of the two city corporations. Of those, DNCC has 14 while DSCC has 36 community centres. The DSCC and DNCC are also using four centres for other purposes while 12 community centres have been abandoned.
According to the information collected from DSCC and DNCC, RAB and Police use eight community centres as their office while an intelligence agency of the government using another community centre.
The DNCC officials said that they rented Mohammdpur Community Center, Khilgaon Community Center and Moghbazar Community centre to RAB while it recently rented out Banani Community Center to National Security Intelligence.
Haji Abdur Rahim Community Centre of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) at Wari is being used as Wari Police Station. The photo was shot on Thursday. — sun photo
DSCC officials said they rented out Mugdapara Afir Uddin Sarder Community Center to Mudga police station, Haji Abdur Rahim Community Center to Wari police station, Fazlur Karim community centre to Bangshal police station and Lalbag community centre to Lalbag police station.
They also said that they marked nine community centres as under-construction, abandoned, risky and unused while the Rayerbazar and Modhubag community centres under DNCC are not operating.
Besides, DSCC is using four community centres as their office —- Goran community centre for zone-2, Haji Goni sarder community centre for zone-3 and Azimpur Mini community centre as revenue office. Of the community centres under DSCC and DNCC, 12 community centres are either under construction or abandoned or not being used for long.
DSCC public relation officer Abu Nasher said the authorities have already served notices to police and RAB to vacate the community centres so that the residents of those areas can use the centres.
“The DSCC has planned to build a modern community centre in every ward with modern facilities so that the residents can hold any kind of programme, including marriage ceremony,” he also added.
Talking to the daily sun, DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam said, “The community centres have been rented out by DNCC before my tenure. We will allow the office of RAB and Police for a year and we have decided that we will not extend our contract with them and vacate the centres for public use.”
He said that he has also instructed ward councillors for finding space to build a modern community centre in every ward.