Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday directed authorities concerned not to construct establishment on Tetultala ground in the city’s Kalabagan area and it would remain as it is. We highly applaud Sheikh Hasina’s such step as children now can play on the Tetultala ground while local people will also be able to organise social programmes and functions like in the past. The prime minister also suggested that since there is no vacant place for entertainment, the police land should be left as it is.
Locals, rights activists and environmentalists have been demonstrating to save the playground for four days. On April 24, Kalabagan police picked up Syeda Ratna, who was leading the protests, along with her son. Police released the mother and son around 13 hours later, with an undertaking that she would not get involved in any protests to protect the playground.
All the stakeholders will also have to
come forward to renovate the existing
parks and playgrounds
As soon as the news spread, there was a wave of joy, happiness and relief among the people, who stood up and showed their gratitude to the prime minister, saying the announcement was an Eid-ul-Fitr gift to children of the area. Syeda Ratna said she had faith that if their demands reached the prime minister, she would definitely save the playground.
The number of playgrounds in the city has been reduced significantly. At least 2,000 parks and 4,000 open fields are needed for about 2.5 crore people living in areas under the two city corporations.
Even two decades ago there were sufficient open spaces and playgrounds for children in capital Dhaka. City areas need at least 20 to 24 per cent of playgrounds or open spaces. But in the capital it is only 4 per cent. According to a Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) survey, as part of formulating the revised detailed area plan (DAP), 37 out of 129 wards in Dhaka's two city corporations have no playgrounds or parks. Considering the area of Dhaka, parks and playgrounds should account for 1,137 acres and 1,876 acres of area. But there are parks on only 271 acres of area, and playgrounds on 294 acres.
We hope the city corporations will take charge of the playground from now and do everything for its development. Therefore, apart from city corporations, all stakeholders will also have to come forward to renovate the existing parks and playgrounds as well as develop new ones.