DC Hill Park, a refreshing stretch of greenery in Chittagong city, is losing its beauty due to poor maintenance.
The park, which is an icon of green nature in the port city, has turned into a sanctuary for beggars and vagabonds due to lack of lighting and security measures.
The park in the city’s Momin Road area is located on top of the hill with is a bungalow for Divisional Commissioner, hence the name DC Hill Park.
The park is on 5.2 acres of land and draws a big crowd every day with its natural beauty and an offer of fresh air.
On Tuesday, towards 11:00am, nearly a hundred vagabonds and beggars were seen gossiping, smoking and passing idle times occupying all the benches at the centre of the park.
Some school and college students were seen roaming in the park. Sitting in groups at different corners of the park, they were seen gossiping and browsing internet.
Another group of people were seen taking drugs near the open stage ‘Nazrul Mancha’ where different types of cultural activities take place.
Inside the park there is a fountain which lies without care and has turned into the breeding ground of mosquitoes with its water stagnant for long.
Wastes litter each and every corner of the park though recently Public works Department installed 40 dustbins at different corners of the park.
These dustbins were installed following the visit of Housing and Public Works minister Mosharraf Hossain on September 2017.
He then asked the authorities concerned to restrict the use of the DC Hill Park for staging cultural events.
Launching a cleanliness campaign, he said the site could be used only to hold three events — celebrations of Pahela Boishakh, Tagore and Nazrul birth anniversaries — from now on.
Mira Sen, a schoolteacher from Nandankanon area, said when they come to exercise on the DC hill premises every morning, they feel very bad to see piles of garbage here and there.
After evening the whole park area turns into a ghostly place as there is no street light, she found.
The hill covers 11 acres of land. On the eastern part, there are three nurseries. Miscreants have cut parts of the hill to make path.
Bangladesh Nursery covers the whole of the western part. By razing the hill, the nursery has turned the hill into a plain land and kept flower vases, seedling and other materials.
Nearly 12 flower shops have been running their business at the foot of northern side of the DC Hill Park.
Another visitor Rina Khan said, ‘We do not feel secure in the park after evening. Out of a fear of being a victim of stalking, I even avoid attending cultural programmes there which often take place after sunset.’
Pradip das, a businessman of Enayet Bazar area, told New Age, ‘I do exercise regularly in DC Hill. But the situation is getting worse day by day. The beautiful hill lacks maintenance.’
Seeking anonymity, a security guard of DC Hill told New Age there was no cleaner to clean the park area. Sometimes two staff from DC bungalow clean the park.
Chittagong City Corporation executive engineer Md Abu Saleh told New Age that this park was under PWD, not under CCC.
Sub-divisional engineer of PWD Rahul Guha told New Age, ‘As per instruction of the PWD minister, we installed dustbins and cleaned the park though CCC and DC office is the maintenance authority.’
DC Chittagong Md Zillur Rahman Chowdhury told New Age, ‘We are also thinking about beautification and preservation of DC hill.’
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