The Jamboree Park opens in the port city's Agrabad today, ending the locals' wait for taking a stroll there.
Housing and Public Works Minister Mosarraf Hossain would inaugurate it this morning.
The stunning park, built on 8.55 acres of land and with a 50,000 square feet pool-like water body at the centre, has 8,000 metres of walkways, two public toilets and two maintenance and electrical blocks.
With several hundred lamps, it lights up at the night, offering a dazzling view.
Besides, around 10,000 trees of 65 species are being planted in the park surrounded by a huge boundary wall, Om Prakash Nandy, superintending engineer of the Public Works Department (circle-2), told The Daily Star recently.
People can go inside through six entrances. Several bins have also been placed across the park to keep it clean, Nandy said, adding CCTV cameras were installed in 14 different points for security reasons.
A gallery has been constructed around the water body so that people can sit and have a good time, he said.
The place was previously known as Jamboree Math (field) as it was used for large Scouts gatherings called Jamboree.
Over the years, some local influential people, however, grabbed parts of the PWD land for growing vegetables while others constructed makeshift shops on another part.
In February, 2016, the PWD took up a project to free the land and build a park.
Nandy said there has always been a dearth of open spaces in Chittagong city and that they wanted to gift the city dwellers a place to breathe fresh air.
“Initially, the project budget was estimated at Tk 20 crore. But we finished everything within Tk 18 crore. The rest of the money was given back to the department,” he said.
Anisul Hoque, a PWD sub-divisional engineer, said the ground has been made almost three feet high so that it does not get submerged due to water-logging.
Pritom Bhattacharjee, a local, said, “There has been a lack of open spaces for us in the city. We needed it [the park] badly.”
Mujibul Khandakar, a senior citizen in the area, praised the PWD initiative and said, “Now, I have a place to walk freely.”
The park will remain open from 5:00am to 9:00pm everyday for all.