The residents of Dhaka city are set to get more open spaces for taking a fresh breath, physical exercise and amusements as Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) is going to open 11 playgrounds and parks to the public soon on completion of renovation and modernisation work.
Once grabbed by influential quarters and different clubs, the common spaces have been developed with modern features, including cricket pitch, practice net, walkway, cycle lane, kid’s zone, women corner, public toilet, Shaheed Minar and community management room.
DNCC officials said the renovation and modernisation work of the 11 parks and playgrounds under Upgradation, Regeneration and Greening of Urban Open Spaces Project has already been completed and DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam will open those for the public soon.
“Before the renovation and modernisation, these spaces were under the occupation of different individuals and clubs. There was no facility for our kids, women and elderly section of the society there. We’ve developed the parks and playgrounds considering the demand of people of different ages,” said Dr Tariq Bin Yousuf, project director and additional chief engineer of DNCC.
He also said, “We’ve built a jogging track for the elderly people, special zone for kids with playing instruments and a corner for women in each of the playgrounds and parks. We’ll hand over the parks and playgrounds to the Estate Department of DNCC. They’ll form a committee for operation and maintenance of those at the local level.”
DNCC sources said the renovation and modernisation work began in 2018 and it was supposed to be completed in 2020 but numerous challenges at the local level delayed the work.
They also said around Tk 56 crore was spent to renovate and modernise the parks and playgrounds under the project which aimed to revamp 26 parks and playgrounds of DNCC.
It was also seen that there is a playground in the middle with a gallery on the west side. There is also an art wall with images of nature and living beings just behind the gallery.
There is a Shaheed Minar on the eastern side of the park while a public toilet and women shed in the southern part of the playground.
There is a circular sitting arrangement and a jogging track along the boundary fence.
This correspondent also visited Humayun Road Playground and the three parks in Banani which were ready for opening.
DNCC officials said they built a co-management room with CCTV cameras and other facilities in every park and playground for the management committee.
Appreciating the move of DNCC, Urban Planner and Vice-president of Bangladesh Institute of Planners Muhammad Ariful Islam said, “Dhaka dwellers had no space for taking a fresh breath. The common spaces were under the occupation of grabbers and in such a condition, people were not interested to visit those. Now, those have been reclaimed and renovated for people. The parks and playgrounds will be entertainment hubs for them.”
He underscored the need for proper management of the parks and playgrounds so that people do not lose their attraction for those.
“DNCC should create more and more open spaces for the city people and reclaim the spaces which are now under the clutches of illegal grabbers,” the urban planner said.