Local people with businesses and homes alongside a three-kilometre road in Mirpur have given up land for free in order to allow the road to be widened by ten feet so that vehicles can pass each other with ease.
‘We started the demolition of the structures two years back and so far we have convinced 95 per cent of the house owners to provide the land for free,’ said M Humayoun Rashid Jony, convener of the Committee for Road Widening, formed by the land and house owners in West Sewrapara and Pirerbagh area of Mirpur in the capital.
In the original Dhaka city map created before 1990, the road, which starts at Rokeya Sharani and goes to Pirerbagh Paka Mosque, was supposed to be 30 feet wide, but the neither the erstwhile Dhaka City Corporation nor the current Dhaka North City Corporation has not taken any initiative to make it happen.
At the Paka Mosque, the road then connects with a 60 foot wide road which goes from National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (Pangu Hospital) to Grammen Bank office at Mirpur.
According to the zone map, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha did not provide any permission for the establishment of buildings or structures on land meant for the 30 feet road, said the local people.
Visiting the area it was found that most of the houses were established far away from the road and it was only the shops constructed in front of the houses that had to relocate.
‘We gave our own land for the sake of the street,’ said Abdur Majid, one of the land owners who decided to free up the land at their own cost.
Matin Mian, a resident of Pirerbagh area, said they were facing problems while using the road. ‘Two cars cannot pass together at a time on the road. It is also difficult to pass the road quickly when there are patients in an ambulance.’
It is also the busiest road in the area through which people living in Amlirtek, Pirerbagh and Paekpara have to come through to reach the Shewrapara bus stand.
The road also becomes blocked when goods are unloaded for the shops constructed on the roadside, said the shop owners.
‘We plan to widen the road from 15 up to 25 feet and this meant that every holding owner had to give up four to five feet of land,’ said Humayun Rashid, the committee convener.
‘We are persuading those house owners. We want to do the work involving
every owner and we hope that they will help the committee willingly,’ he added.
‘No land owner gets any compensation as the government does not take the initiative, so we have to try to convince them.’
There is no plan to make a separate footpath on the road, however.
The committee members said that once all the land has been given over, they will request the DCC to tarmac the road and to move the utility poles carrying electric and other wires.
The Dhaka North City Corporation executive engineer, Saydur Rahman, told New Age that they would construct the road if all the land owners through their local Member of Parliament applied for the road construction.
‘All the land owners would have to agree with the road construction and have to sign the application,’ he said.
Courtesy of New Age