Renovation work begins this month
The work for renovation project of Jatishangha Park in the port city is finally going to start in this month. One of the very few parks in the port city with public access, the 59-year-old Jatishangha Park, located in Panchlaish Residential Area was left in a sorry state for over six years.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her visit to Chattogram on December 4 last year laid the foundation stone of the project. The Public Works Department (PWD) is implementing the project worth Tk 11.70 crore.
According to officials of PWD, Chattogram, the park will be adorned with attractive greenery so that the beauty of the park can be observed from outside. A boundary wall will be provided with iron grill around it.
Besides, a walkway will be constructed and the park will have adequate sitting arrangements for visitors. A fountain will be placed at the centre. Moreover ,the entire park will be very well lit with appropriate washroom facility.
Before, the park used to be inundated whenever it rained, and now the park will be elevated to match the height of the surrounding roads to prevent that issue.
Additionally the park will have a kids zone and sports equipment and horizontal bars will be installed for physical exercise.
During a visit in the park on Sunday, this correspondent found that there was no room for the visitors to roam or sit in. There was no boundary wall around the park and logs were left inside the park. The whole park has become a place of bushes, making it inaccessible to people for use.
Locals alleged that the park lost its distinguish character when Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) initiated a project to build swimming pools and a gymnasium in place of a water body in the park in 2012.
According to CCC sources, the park was divided in half, building a boundary wall to separate the two swimming pools built at a cost of Tk 4.80 crore. An adolescent had drowned in the swimming pool at that time and since then, the pools have been left abandoned.
In 2016, CCC initiated to lease out the park to a private organisation for 25 years. However, locals and the then Minister for Housing and Public Works Engr Mosharraf Hossain opposed the initiative of CCC, said Khorshed Alam Sujan, former administrator of CCC.
"He (Mosharraf) was against the initiative of privatising a public park and said PWD would develop the park."
"The tug of war between CCC and PWD has left the park in a sorry state for around six years," he said, adding, "When I was the administrator of CCC in 2020, I released the park for PWD."
Contacted, Rahul Guha, executive engineer of PWD, Chattogram (Div-1), said, "We've handed over the project site to the contractor and the work will start in this month. The swimming pools will be dismantled while the park-surface will be developed with 8,033 cubic metre of soil."
The project-work is scheduled to be completed by June 2024, he said.