Govt urged not to hand park to Dhaka Club | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 14, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 14, 2007

Govt urged not to hand park to Dhaka Club

Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa) again urged the government to cancel the transfer of part of the Suhrawardy Udyan to Dhaka Club for golfing and said they would continue their movement against the handover decision until the administration relents.
The government simply cannot transfer 40 percent of an important park of a densely-populated city like Dhaka for the exclusive use of a certain people, the environmental activists said at a press conference at National Press Club yesterday.
They said besides being evocative of the country's liberation war, the park functions like the lungs of the city, adding that the entire parkland should be open to people from all walks of life, not to a handful of rich golfers only.
The Bapa asked the government to formulate a long-term plan to protect the park and said its maintenance could be delegated to the Dhaka University authorities.
Refuting the club's claim that it will not profit from the golf course, Bapa President Prof Muzaffar Ahmed said, "The Dhaka Club has to invest money to develop and maintain the golf course. So they need to earn money from it to get their money back".
He said people everywhere are barred from entering well-maintained golf courses and that the same would be the case for Suhrawardy Udyan, again contradicting the club authorities who earlier said they would not put obstacles to pedestrians.
The club members are rich people and are able to find out another place for golfing, Prof Muzaffar added.
Bapa Vice president Prof Abdullah Abu Sayeed said people do not expect such a decision from a government which is combating corruption and other unlawful activities.
He complained that the club members are trying to create the wrong impression that only the environmentalists are protesting the handover decision, adding that people at large are also demanding the same thing because golfing is a game of the privileged few.
Dr Abdul Matin read out a statement that said the government decision has hurt the sentiment of the people.
Mubasshar Hussain, president of Institute of Architects, Bangladesh (IAB), Captain (rtd) Abul Kashem, organising secretary at Muktijoddha Sangsad, Mahmud Selim, general secretary of Udichi, Shahin Reza Noor of Prajanmo Ekattor and Syeda Rizwana Hasan, programme director with Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers' Association (Bela) were also present at the press conference.

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