Call to build water-centric eco-park around DIT Pond

BNCA thanks RAJUK for drive to rescue the pond

Published : 09 Jun 2023 09:33 PM

Bangladesh Nature Conservation Alliance (BNCA), a coalition of different environmental organisations committed to protecting nature; has called upon the authorities concerned to build a water-centric park around the hundred-year-old DIT Pond in Gandaria area of Old Dhaka. 

The BNCAL has also thanked the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) for carrying out an evacuation drive to rescue the pond. 

BNCA convener Professor Dr. Ahmad Kamruzzaman Majumder and member secretary Muhammad Anowarul Hoque thanked RAJUK on behalf of the environmental platform through a joint statement issued on Friday (June 9, 2023). 

The BNCA thanked the RAJUK for its drive against encroachment of the much-discussed DIT Pond and the eviction of illegal structures and shops along the pond.

In the statement, the BNCA also demanded the eviction of the temporary office of Ward Councilor Sahana Akhtar, which was illegally built by filling the pond. At the same time, the alliance of the environmental organisations strongly protested and condemned the attack on the police during the evacuation operation on Thursday (June 8). The alliance dedicated to nature conservation demanded arrest and punishment for that the attackers.

The statement says, since Councilor Shahana Akhtar and her father Saidul Islam Shahid led the filling of this pond, the BNCA thinks that if their office is not removed from the pond, this important pond will be occupied again. Therefore, BNCA demanded to build a water-centric park around this pond by evicting the two remaining illegal structures as per the document.

It is to be noted that the local people recently raised their voices to protect the pond which has been illegally occupied for several years by Shahana Akhtar, her father former Councilor Saidul Islam Shahid and some other influential people. Along with that, various environmental organisations, including BNCA, environmental activists and journalists also raised voices for the pond. 

The local people had announced to form a human chain on June 2 last (Friday) demanding the protection of the DIT Pond. The convener of Bangladesh Nature Conservation Alliance (BNCA) Professor Dr. Ahmad Kamruzzaman Majumdar, joint convener Suman Shams, Ibnul Sayed Rana, urban planner Professor Dr. Adil Mohammad Khan and representatives of various environmentalist organisations were present there to express solidarity with the protesters. 

The protest programme could not be held that day due to obstruction by police. However, the environmentalists and journalists did not remain silent.

Following this, the RAJUK carried out the evacuation operation. During the operation, most of the structures built by filling the hundred-year-old DIT Pond in Gandaria area of Old Dhaka were razed. However, two two-storey buildings, including the councilor’s office, were not demolished. For this reason, local residents have expressed their anger. 

Meanwhile, when the policemen were returning after the operation, there was an attack on them. At least two policemen were injured.