Vol. 5 Num 160 Mon. November 01, 2004  
Star City

Massive beautification of city for Saarc Summit

The city's beautification plan for the upcoming the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (Saarc) Summit is expected to complete by mid November, a month ahead of the high-profile conference slated for January 2005.

"We hope the executing agencies will not miss the November 15 deadline for finishing the project as 80 percent work has already been done," said Commodore Sohel Faruque, member secretary of the Dhaka City Beautification Cell (DCBC).

The cell has been formed comprising officials of the DCC, Dhaka Electric Supply Authority, Dhaka Urban Transport Project, Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, Dhaka Electric Supply Company, and the Police Department to assist in implementation of the beautification programmes.

The beautification project, undertaken at the directives of the Prime Minister's Office, is being executed by various government agencies and private organisations under the supervision of the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC).

Under the project, almost all important medians and road islands stretching from Bangabhaban to airport have been brought under fresh plantation. A total of 71 public and private organisations are implementing the project.

The authorities have divided the city into 109 zones and asked the executing agencies to beautify these areas. The private organisations will plant trees on medians and road dividers and maintain the plants for the next four years.

Besides, two parks have been handed over to private organisations for eight years for maintenance and beautification.

"The government does not need to spend on this project. Government agencies and private organisations are implementing this plan with their own funds," Commodore Sohel Faruque said. "DCC is co-ordinating the whole project."

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has decided to award the best organisations for their efforts in planting and maintaining the medians of the city roads, ANM Iftekharul Hoque, officer-in-charge of DCBC said.

He said the DCC will allow the organisations to put a maximum of three advertisement boards in their designated areas on completion of the beautification work. "The size of the billboards needs to be approved by the city corporation."

Bangladesh Navy has been assigned for the beautification of the road from Banani level crossing to Kakoli, and the 'Advance Ad' is beautifying the road from Kakoli point to Jahangir Gate via Mohakhali level crossing.

The stretch from Jahangir Gate of Dhaka Cantonment to Bijoy Sarani is being beautified by GrameenPhone Limited and Bijoy Sarani to Farmgate Police Box by the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) has been engaged in maintenance of the park to the west of Adamjee Court at Dilkusha while Arkay Group has taken the Panthakunja Park near Sonargaon Hotel.

Bata Shoe Company Limited is beautifying the roads from Zia International Airport to Tongi Bridge, and the Roads and Highways Department is beautifying the stretch from the airport to Banani level crossing.

Brac has been nominated to beautify the road from Manik Mia Avenue to Gono Bhaban while Lions Club for Agargaon link road to Taltala bus stand, and Grameen Bank for the stretch from Mirpur Section-10 to Sony Cinema.

Farmgate Police Box to Bangla Motor crossing and the road from Dhaka Sheraton Hotel to Shahbagh crossing were handed over to Arkay Group for beautification.

Gonosasthya Kendra has been nominated to beautify from Dhanmondi Road no 5 to the Sonargaon-Panthapath Road via Russell Square.

Among other organisations, Transcom Limited, Concord Group, Bangladesh Army, Exim Bank, City Bank, Dutch-Bangla Bank, LGED, Bangladesh Railway, Lab Aid, CityCell, Hotel Sonargaon, Desco, ATN Bangla, Bhorer Kagoj, British American Tobacco, Bashundhara Group, Prime Textile, and MCCI are beautifying the city under the project.

"We are taking part in this project to perform our corporate social responsibility," said Syed Shawkat Imam, deputy manager (information) of GrameenPhone Limited.

All the organisations had to take DCC's prior approval to the designs and work for beautification. DCBC officials said the contract with any organisation would be cancelled if it failed to follow the approved design and complete the work on time.

The authorities had earlier planned to relocate the Saarc Fountain in front of Sonargaon Hotel but officials said it will remain at its present position until the summit. It will then be relocated to Pantho Kunjo park.

The Airport Road adorned with a new look as part of the beautification process of the city ahead of the Saarc Summit. PHOTO: STAR