Dhaka South City Corporation is replacing trashes dumped on the median of the road below Mayor Mohammad Hanif Flyover with sand in the name of beautification of one of the key roads connecting the capital with southern and eastern districts.
Urban planners, however, said that using sand to tackle city trashes was a waste of public money as sand in open spaces also caused pollution and sufferings.
They urged the authorities to go for tree plantation following the suggestions made by experts.
DSCC chief executive officer Khan Mohammad Bilal told New Age that the city corporation was building fences there to stop grabbing of the spaces after replacing trashes on the median with sand as part of their beautification initiative.
He said that the fences would also serve as a barrier discouraging the people from throwing wastes there.
DSCC executive engineer Kazi Borhan Uddin informed that they were constructing the fences at a cost of Tk 4.62 crore. According to the work order of the construction, he said, they would fill up the median with sand removing debris and dust.
Architect and urban planner Mubasshar Hussein said that the initiative would do little to stop grabbing or throwing garbage on the median. He suggested that the authorities should plant trees for ‘real’ beautification of the area.
Borhan, who is overlooking the ‘development’, said that though they would not plant any tree this time, they would keep the scope for greenery inside the fences so that it could do it in future.
The DSCC would complete the fencing work by March if they were not to face any obstacle from the grabbers, he said.
Architect Iqbal Habib asked the authorities to set the plan of action only after consultations with local people and experts.
The 11-kilometre road below the largest flyover of the city starting from Nimtoli at Gulistan to Kutubkhali at Jatrabari has remained under illegal occupation since the opening of the flyover for traffic in 2013.
A resident of Wari, Riazul Islam said that the city corporation must keep the median clean while providing greenery. Replacement of trashes with sand would bring no benefit for the people, he observed.
Dhaka South city mayor Mohammad Sayeed Khokon had previously said that he would demolish medians for smoothening traffic movements on the road.
Khan Mohammad Bilal said that they could not demolish the barriers as it might damage the flyover.
The key road was dotted with over 500 shops, several garages for keeping rickshaw-vans and auto-rickshaws, political party offices, mosques, and restaurants, all illegally opened by locally influential people.
Two out of four lanes of the important road remain closed to traffic at most points due to illegal encroachments, regular users told New Age.
They said that too wide medians around the piers of the flyover also facilitated the encroachments to block traffic movements, as the authorities took no step to remove the encroachers.
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology’s civil engineering professor and its Road Safety Institute director Shamsul Hoque said, ‘The key road below the flyover does not facilitate free traffic flow as it should because it has been choked by illegal structures built by encroachers.’
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