CCC’s expensive puddle
When Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) constructed two swimming pools in 2015, it was hailed by the residents. They were constructed at a portion of the city's Jatisangha Park area.
But after laying abandoned for seven years, the authorities have now taken a puzzling initiative to demolish the pools, reportedly built at a cost of almost Tk 4 crore.
"In 2012, CCC took the initiative to build the two swimming pools, along with a gymnasium. The construction of the park was completed in June 2015," said architect Abdullah Al Omar, city planner of CCC.
"We're going to demolish the pools soon. They were constructed without planning, with many technical faults," said Omar.
"The pools are 120ft long and 50ft wide. One is eight feet deep while the other is eight and a half feet," he added.
Asked how much CCC spent to construct them, architect Omar refused to answer and suggested contacting CCC Chief Engineer Rafiqul Islam in this regard, saying he'd know better about the matter.
When contacted, the chief engineer reluctantly said he didn't know how much money was spent for the pools either.
However, reports from different media outlets found that CCC spent around Tk four crores during construction.
Rahul Guha, executive engineer of Public Works Department (PWD), Chattogram (Div-1), said, "Once the swimming pools are demolished, we'll start our development work there within 4-5 months."
Meanwhile, this is some kind of a double-whammy for the Jatisangha Park. Ziaul Haque, a local of the area, informed this correspondent that the park had been shrunk to facilitate the swimming pools and gymnasium inside it. However, they were supposed to be added attractions for the park, but if they're demolished, even that hope is gone.
Delwar Mazumder, former chairperson of the Chattogram Center of the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh, said, "It will be a punishable offense if the hard earned money of citizens is wasted just because of someone's ignorance."
"If there's any technical fault in the construction process, the authorities should prioritise solving the problem as opposed to demolishing the swimming pools," he said.