With beautiful landscape architecture, well-maintained roads, musical fountain, the water taxi service, and an amphitheatre, Hatirjheel project arguably has some of the best roads in Dhaka.
But how do we keep it that way? We asked people of all walks of life about their hopes and expectations regarding the project. And hence we present you five things to do/avoid if you do not want to see Hatirjheel worsen over time.
Let's not flood Hatirjheel with restaurants
Nusrat Tamanna, 22, is a BBA student at a private university. And like countless others of her age, she is also a foodie. But even though she loves trying out new restaurants and enjoys the culinary diversity the city's numerous eateries provide, she is reluctant to see Hatirjheel become a restaurant hub, with food joints mushrooming all over.
"There are a few restaurants already, which is fine," she said. "However, if this number continues to rise indefinitely, the charm of this pristine place will be lost."
Let's not abuse the waterway
The water taxi service at Hatirjheel is a refreshing initiative. It is a brilliant alternative for many commuters like Ibrahim Ahmed, who is a salesperson at a shop in Karwan Bazar. Nowadays, he hops onto a water taxi from Gulshan-Badda Link Road and navigates through Hatirjheel to drop off near FDC Gate.
"There is no traffic jam, and I can enjoy picturesque views to and from office. These boats are safe too, with life jackets and all. And, unlike buses, the boats are not crammed with an overload of people," Ahmed pointed out. "I wish these things do not change in the future." And he added, "The authorities should be more careful about foul smell that sometimes comes from the water."
Let's not abuse the roadway either
Unlike those water taxis, buses in Dhaka are crammed, often drive recklessly, and have poor maintenance. But Hatirjheel's bus service is much better when compared with many others in Dhaka. However, Yusuf Ali, a young executive in a bank, thinks that the service can be improved.
He said, "A lot of people have to stand, and sometimes the passengers have to nudge the driver to move forward instead of waiting for more," he complained. "This culture has to be given up. We expect higher standard from Hatirjheel."
Let's not make Hatirjheel a media of billboards
Hatirjheel has earned a reputation of being a feat of engineering and a successful work of landscape architecture. Arshad Sharif, 55 years of age, regularly comes here in the morning for a jog. He thinks that Hatirjheel makes for a good start to the day. "I do not want to get bombarded by billboards. I guess a few is all right. But the placement and size must not obstruct the beauty, serenity, and architecture," he pleaded.
Let's keep Hatirjheel clean
There are many bins on the sides of the roads of Hatirjheel. Using the trash can is one of the most basic responsibilities of citizens. But do we do so?
Anisha Sattar, a homemaker and mother of two, shared her frustration. "Hatirjheel is nowadays a popular spot for recreation. That is great. But I have seen so many times people littering the streets and the lake," she said. "And I also want to add that people should not pluck flowers out of the roadside plants."
Let's keep Hatirjheel clean and pristine the way it is today. Let's improve it further. At least, let's not spoil it!