Liberation war affairs minister AKM Mozammel Huq on Thursday said that the government would try its best to complete the Tk 47.31-crore Swadhinata Stambha project without felling any more trees in Suhrawarhy Udyan.
After a meeting with teachers of different universities, representatives of different agencies and media personalities at the Public Works Department, Mozammel said that utmost effort would be made to ensure that no further trees were felled while developing roads, laws, statues, car parking, toilets food kiosk or others.
The move came after trees were cut in the third phase of development, drawing widespread criticism and a High Court order on May 11 that asked the government to stop tree-felling at the historic Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka until the court hears a petition over the matter on May 20.
‘The scheduled hearing on May 20 did not take place,’ petitioner lawyer ManzilL Murshid told New Age on Thursday.
A contempt petition was filed by two Supreme Court lawyers Mahbubul Islam and Ripan Barai on April 9 seeking a contempt of court ruling against the liberation war affairs secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Public Works Department chief engineer Md Shamim Akhter and chief of architects Mir Manzur Rahman for felling trees in Suhrawardy Udyan.
Mozammel, after the Thursday meeting, said that about 70 trees had been cut though they had the plan to cut 100 trees. ‘We will plant at least 10,000 trees of various kinds like krishnachura, radhachura, rajanigandha and others in the park as the incumbent government led by prime minister Sheikh Hasina believes in environmentally friendly development,’ Mozammel said.
The liberation war affairs minister said that the government was developing the international standard Swadhinata Stambha project to present the history of the war of independence, including delivering the historic March 7 speech and surrender of the Pakistani army on December 7 to the local and international audience.
‘We expect an estimated 10,000 visitors every day. We will take school children to the park to give them a good grounding in the history of the war,’ he said.
He further said that Suhrawarhy Udyan would be treated as a key-point installation and would be maintained by an authority. ‘We will hold a meeting with the cultural affairs ministry for relocating the Amar Ekushey Grantha Mela from the park to Dhaka University,’ he said.
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