North Bardda to be turned into amusement part/resort; it’s not even Goolshan, ministry says
Bardda, or North Bardda to be more specific, which has always pretended to be Goolshan, will soon be turned into an amusement park/resort, the Ministry of Money announced yesterday.
The move means thousands of Bardda residents will be evicted and will not be offered any rehabilitation in line with the government's policy of "We don't really give a damn".
While some have hailed the decision as there is "nothing to do in Dhoka apart from going to restaurants", those affected have started bringing out mass processions against the resort owners.
The protests, however, have been given negligible coverage in mainstream media because a) The owners are backed by the most powerful mechanism in the country and b) Bardda has been pretending to be Goolshan for too long and that needs to stop.
Regardless of those facts, the move has caught some flak as these people are not slum dwellers or people who look different than most regular Bangladeshis. "My family has been living here for generation. The Bardda bazar, which is being turned into a swimming pool, has been our only means of food and even livelihood in some cases," Kawser Ahmed, a resident of North Bardda, said.
Contacted, a ministry official said, "Bardda is not Goolshan. It needs to stop pretending that it is. We have a zero-tolerance policy for pretenders. Furthermore, this is what development looks like. Deforestation, mistreatment of natives and mass evictions."
The official also said every family evicted will be given Tk 5000 and a new parcel of land sometime in the near future. When told Tk 5000 seemed too less, the official explained that Bardda people are used to surviving on such measly amounts.
"They go and mill outside five-star hotels. Outside. They don't even eat there. So, they should be happy that a five-star is coming so close to them. Now they can save whatever money they spent on down-market modes of transport," Minister of Money Jafar Iqbal said.