Vol. 5 Num 549 Mon. December 12, 2005  
Star City

DCC takes steps to free Osmani Udyan of addicts, encroachers

The first phase of the development and beautif-ication of Osmani Udyan -- a once prominent public park in the city -- would be completed in February 2006, said Dhaka City Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka.

"The park had become a safe haven for drug-addicts, but with the completion of the development and beautification work, people will again be able to use the park as a place for recreation," said the mayor after a visit to the last Monday.

Other parks in the city too, would also be brought under such development work in phases, said the mayor stating that the next might be Gulistan park, in front of Bangabhaban.

The mayor was accompanied by Prof. Nizamuddin Ahmed, member, technical committee for the develop-ment works, Dhaka City Corporation's (DCC) top officials, engineers and civil society representatives.

The first phase of the Tk 3.27 crore development work includes construction of a boundary wall, a lake on the eastern side, and walkways alongside the boundary wall, planting trees and rearr-anging and nurturing flowerbeds.

According to the DCC, the total land area of the park is now 19.6052 acres though the area was 23.14 acres as 0.2400 acres were given to Golap Shah Mosque to the east of the park, while 0.028 acres are occupied by the Muktijoddha club. Another 0.07 acres have been taken over by a group of typists for their business; 0.3765 acres had been given to Titas Gas to set up a city central gas station and 0.0103 acre to Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA).

A small area from the southwestern corner has been given to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, a DCC official.

The Osmani Udyan was handed over to the DCC in 1997 by the public works department and in 1998 the park was solely maintained by the DCC.

Khoka on July 19 in 2004 formed a 15-member committee heading noted intellectual and environme-ntalist Prof. Serajul Islam Chowdhury. Then on August 26, 2004 a eight-member technical committee was formed convened by chief engineer of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC), that prepared the design and tree-plantation plan for the park.

While a notice forbidding trespassers is posted at the entrance to the Osmani Udyan, a group of floating people spend their time under a tree inside the park (top).. PHOTO: STAR