Green activists at a protest rally yesterday urged the government to take tough measures against those who use playgrounds for commercial purposes, like arranging fairs and bazaars.
They also demanded that the relevant authorities, such as city corporations and local administration, immediately identify all playgrounds across the country and take initiatives to keep those free of illegal occupation and ensure proper maintenance as per a High Court order.
Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) and Green Voice jointly organised the rally in front of National Museum in Shahbagh.
Speaking at the event, Bapa General Secretary Abdul Matin said Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Atiqul Islam recently assured that no fair will be held at any playground in the city, but the situation is completely opposite.
A close aide of the ward-31 councillor [under DNCC] arranges a weekly fair [every Thursday] at the playground adjacent to Jakir Hossain Road in Mohammadpur, he said.
The city authorities tried to stop such arrangement, but to no avail. It seems that the fair organisers barely care about authorities’ restriction, he added.
“There are several other playgrounds across the country being used for commercial purposes. Such activities should be stopped with an iron hand,” said Matin.
About the Mohammadpur playground, Bapa Joint Secretary Mihir Biswas said, “I wonder how many times the authorities have to take initiatives to recover one playground!”
He questioned the government as to why it has failed to protect playgrounds, though there is an HC order in place.
Green Voice coordinator Alamgir Kabir and Nirapad Noupath Bastobayan Andolon coordinator Aminur Rasul spoke at the event, among others.