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Friday, October 24, 2014

Sunday, February 10, 2013
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Gulshan Lake Park

Rajuk sits on concrete mess

Rajuk has taken no step to free the Gulshan Lake Park of its illegal concrete structures built by some over-enthusiastic organisations in defiance of existing laws.

“Nothing has been done so far,” Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) Chairman Nurul Huda told The Daily Star last week.

However, in a report published in this paper on January 21, he was quoted as saying Rajuk would demolish the structures and restore the park's natural character.

“[Following the report,] I asked the member [development] of Rajuk to investigate the matter and report to me,” said the chairman, adding that he had not yet heard anything from him.

Mahbubul Alam, member (development) of Rajuk, said they have visited the structures but are yet to submit a report on the matter. “We will not allow such encroachment on the public park.”

“The Gulshan Society submitted a master plan and we have approved it. Therefore, the society should be the only organisation to do the development work there,” Mahbubul added, without elaborating on the master plan.

Groups of people under at least six different banners have built their own concrete structures on the green space of the park. Each group has built a structure, where right to access is often reserved for members.

Park visitors say they have witnessed over the last few years how alarmingly green space is being replaced by concrete structures.

It all started in 2005 with an apparently humble initiative of the Gulshan Society to develop the park into a decent public place from its neglected past.

The Gulshan Society in 2005 signed a five-year renewable agreement with Rajuk, the park's original owner, and took over its management. One of the first things the society did after taking over the managerial role was to build a concrete bungalow by the lake in the name of having its own office.

Other groups soon joined in. The Joggers' Club was followed by The Joggers' Society. Then came The Runners' Club followed by The Runners' Society. There is also the Lake Club. Now almost every organisation has a concrete structure in the park.

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