Chaotic city beautification efforts must stop

Published: 00:00, Feb 15,2020 | Updated: 22:46, Feb 14,2020


IT IS worrying that Dhaka is burdened with chaotic beautification projects while many other structures remain unattended. Although the projects of sculptures, fountains and others are aimed at enhancing the beauty of the capital city, they stand in major crossings and on road lane dividers as eye sores, failing to live up to the promise of making the city look beautiful. Experts and urban developers think that most of such structures are inappropriately and incoherently installed and not in harmony with the landscape. Most of other structures, including Aparajeya Bangla, Raju Memorial Sculpture and Swoparjita Swadhinata in Dhaka University, Shapla Square at Motijheel and Doyel Square near the Bangla Academy are in a bad state, urgently requiring renovation or refurbishment. City authorities have, as New Age reported on Friday, in the meantime, leased out many of the locations, to mostly banks, for beautification, allowing them to put up advertisements as sponsors of the structure; but they hardly take care of the locations and often make them look ugly with improper structures.

When even the existing structures and artworks have hardly contributed to the enhancement of the beauty of the bustling city, where lack of open spaces and greenery is what first needs to be attended to, giving out spaces to banks and other organisations that are interested in using the spaces for commercial purposes with advertisements and artless and irrelevant structures is distressing. There have also been widespread allegations of corruption in the projects involving city authorities. Urban developers, artists and residents have criticised the selection of spaces for beautification as many projects have been allowed in very unlikely places many of which are known as pocket and shared spaces. The result has been more of a visual pollution and passenger’s plight than beauty. The trouble that digital and well-lit posters on the footpath along the busiest of roads pose to vehicles and pedestrians is a case in point. Dhaka is burdened with a growing population, with a rapid damage to its environment, the shortage of open spaces and the death of rivers flowing by and water bodies and an incoherent use of spaces for beautification are likely to add to the woes.

The government and city authorities must, therefore, be cautious about such beautification projects and must consult with experts before projects are taken to deliver what is intended. Attention must also be paid to the maintenance of the existing structures.

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