The Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) has failed to comply with the prime minister's instructions to demolish the unsightly central reservation along a 1.5-km stretch of the Airport Road from Jahangir Gate to Kakoli intersection.
Following a report carried by this paper on February 22, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had asked the DNCC authorities to demolish the concrete structures clad with toilet and kitchen tiles and spruce up the median strip of the key city road with green trees, said official sources.
International cricket players and guests will soon be using this road as the capital is set to host the ICC T20 world cup cricket tournament starting in the middle of this month.
Expensive railings were put along this very central reservation under the World Bank sponsored scheme “Clean Air and Sustainable Environment”. The beautification programme has seen the railings removed, which are now lying haphazardly in the middle of the road.
The DNCC without any public invitation or competition and involvement of any architect or historian entered into a five-year contract with the private advertising firm Vinyl World Group to beatify the median strip of the road ahead of the ICC tournament.
Commuters said stones containing inscriptions on the concrete walls reminded them of epitaphs in a graveyard.
According to the country's leading architects, the beautification is devoid of aesthetic exaltation which would portray the country negatively giving an impression that Bangladesh lacks educated people.
Following the newspaper report, the prime minister on the same day called four top DNCC officials -- Administrator Md Anwarul Islam Sikder, Secretary Md Abu Sayed Sk, Chief Executive Officer BM Enamul Haque and Chief Engineer Brig Gen Md Abul Khair -- to Gono Bhaban, said official sources.
The PM was extremely annoyed with the corporation's beautification plan and expressed her disappointment over the move.
Enquired why the city corporation has not yet removed the unsightly structures, DNCC CEO Enamul said, “We've demolished the structures partially and planted some decorative trees there. If required, we may remove all the structures.”
DNCC Chief Waste Management Officer Navy Captain Bipan Kumar Saha had made the contract with the private advertising firm without getting it endorsed by the top officials, added Enamul.
Despite repeated attempts, The Daily Star could not reach Bipan Kumar over the phone for his comment.