NOBODY can take issue with the idea of setting up of waste transfer plants. In fact, given the size of the capital city and the huge quantity of waste uncared for, there is need for not one but many such plants to allow the city corporations the capability to manage waste efficiently, particularly solid waste. But one wonders whether the planners have considered all relevant factors before deciding on the site. If they had, Pantha Kunja would have been the last place they would have considered as a site for such a plant.
Of the several criteria on which a waste transfer site is selected, the exclusionary criteria include public places like parks and preserves. Pantha Kunja is not only one of the few parks that is still surviving in Dhaka city, it is also situated right in the heart of a very busy intersection with perhaps the highest volume of traffic considering the vehicle-to-a-mile criterion. Even the technical criteria, it seems, have been disregarded. Such a plant would not only add to the traffic congestion with few lateral roads and apparently no holding area except the main road, leave alone the impact on the environment and risk to pedestrians. Moreover, given the restrictive nature of the location one wonders where the potential for expansion of the site is.
We hope that the relevant authorities would address the genuine concerns the public have expressed and which we fully endorse. The matter involves much more than just the squandering away of a public park.