Huge playground in disuse | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 04, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:54 PM, January 04, 2016

Huge playground in disuse

When open space is a scarcity in Dhaka city, a large portion of the sprawling Dhupkhola Math has been apparently off limits to local children for the last five years.

The part does not have grass and the surface is badly damaged because construction materials for Mayor Mohammad Hanif Flyover had been piled there for four years.

Though the field was freed and handed over to the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) last year, the corporation did not take any step to repair the surface.

"The condition of the playground is so bad that it is impossible to play there," said Mohammad Imon Hasan, a resident of Baniya Nagar.

He said the field was littered with bricks and construction materials.

Dhupkhola is the only public playground in the area where 500 children and youths used to play every day, he said.

Dhupkhola Math is divided into three parts -- one belongs to East-End Club, another to Jagannath University, and the other to general people.

Orion Group, which built the flyover, had piled the materials on the portion open to all.

Chief Estate Officer of DSCC Khalid Ahmed said they received a letter from Orion Group in late October last year, which mentioned that Orion left the field in September 2015.

Orion had been using it since 2010, said sources in DSCC.

Before that the playground used to be full of cheerful noises with scores of children playing.

"We want to get the field back to its previous state," said Monir Hossain, a resident of Gendaria and a member of Ucchash Krira Chakra, a local club.

He said they now played on the Jagannath University's part, but it also had been in a pitiable condition since Eid-ul-Azha when it was used as a cattle market.

The part of the field was not repaired properly later.

A trainer and organiser of Gendaria Sonali Otit Football Academy, Mohiuddin Ahmed, said they recently levelled the surface of a small part of the Jagannath University portion to practise there.

He said DSCC Mayor Sayeed Khokon had promised to renovate and recover all playgrounds of the city but there was no sign yet.

He added that they sent a letter to DSCC around three months ago, but had not got any response.

When contacted, Chief Executive Officer of DSCC Khan Mohammad Belal said the field would be restored to its previous state, and the estate office would work on it.

He said the contractor who took the lease for the cattle market should have repaired it.

Meanwhile, defying the risks of injury, children have started coming to the field to play. 

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