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Hatirjheel starts stinking

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By Special Correspondent
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Hatirjheel project, with its wide open space is going to fast  lose its charm to attract city dwellers mainly   due to stinks coming out from its  badly polluted lake water and  also dumping of municipal waste into it.
Although the main objective of the 302-acre project was to connect the eastern and western part of the city, reduce traffic jam and  also  improve  drainage and sewerage system, it  could be as well  used as  a  breathing space  for the city dwellers.
The project with a lake with beautiful  bridges over it and lovely  flowers on road islands and also alongside the roads,  since it was opened to public in January last year, has however, been drawing visitors. But the  foul smell coming out from its water has become a discouraging factor  the visitors   as sewerage  water is finding  its way into the lake.
 Some visitors of the project told  this correspondent   that  sometimes  they  have to put handkerchief  on their nose  because of the bad smell  from the lake's polluted  water.  Still  in absence of open space in the city they like to visit  the  area, they said.   Sometimes they have to cut short  their stay in the area, which  could have been turned  an attractive breathing space for the city dwellers,  they observed.
Abdur Rahman , a visitor who had been on stroll with members of  his family  at the   site   said that they found it very difficult to stay there  for long  because of the bad smell.
One top   official  of  (Rajuk), said  stinks  in Hatirjheel water is a technical problem. Water is spreading stench as sewerage water enters the drainage lines connecting Panthapath, Sonargaon and Rampura areas. Rajuk is  setting up pumps near   Rampura bridge to check stinks  of water. "Once the pumps are in place, then there'll be no stench from the water."
Brigadier General Sajjad of Special Works Organisation (SWO) said, " We  have done our part.The problem of stink will be solved  following the  setting up of a  Sewerage Treatment plant  at Dasherkandi which is likely to involve an estimated cost of Tk. 1200 -1500 crore including   land acquisition."
Major General Sayed, project director of   Hatirjheel  who has been  with it since inception  told The New  Nation on Sunday  Dasherkandi  treatment plant will be a  foreign  project.  Some countries including China have  shown interest to finance it. The  problem will be totally solved  with  the installation of the sewerage treatment plant, he said.  As an  interim arrangement a parallel embankment is created along the Ramnpura bridge with a flow control having provision of opening and closing, he said.
Another source  however, said that  it is not possible to refresh  Hatirjheel water through  setting up only pumps. It requires  proper treatment of  water to remove the stinks, he said. Meanwhile,  Dhaka City Corporation (DCC)  has  to give due attention  so that none can dump municipal waste into the lake.
Paribesh Andolon  General Secretary  Abdul Matin  told the media that  they had suggested the authorities concerned to set up an organic treatment plant to remove odour from the water.  
Asked what steps they are taking to remove wastes from the Hatirjheel area, an official of Dhaka City Corporation (North) said it would  clean up the area on completion of the project work. Security personnel and cleaners will be recruited  to look after the project site on completion of its work by the army, he said.
Asked whether they are taking any action against reckless motorcyclists who reportedly caused death to  some  visitors in Hatirjheel area recently, he said they  have  written  to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) and asked the Inspector General of Police to take preventive measures.
On January 2,  2013 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina  inaugurated the Hatirjheel-Begunbari integrated development project to public.  The 302-acre site stretches between Airport Road and Rampura along Tejgaon, Gulshan, Modhubagh, Moghbazar, Badda and Ulan areas.

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