On 10th June 2020, news was published in various national dailies that Honorable Mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation has directed to increase basement car parking facility in Osmani Udyan while inspecting the development works. Unfortunately, users and relevant stakeholders were not part of the planning and designing process of this park. In addition, this park is closed for several years depriving the users. Present Mayor is working hard to make Dhaka a livable city and corruption free. So we hope that he will alter his decision to increase basement parking facility in Osmani Udyan and consult with all relevant stakeholder. On 17 June 2020 a virtual discussion meeting was organized by Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust and 24 other organizations demanding alteration of decision to increase basement parking facility in Osmani Udyan and speakers opined such in the event.
Coordinator of Save 11 Thousand Trees in Osmani Udyan, Ruhul Hossain Prince said that, earlier we altered the decision of building NAM Building in the place of Osmani Udyan. We must save this space for the sake of people and environment. Chairman of Environmental Science department of Stamford University Ahmed Kamruzzaman Mazumder said that, we need to analyze environmental and social impact of Osmani Udyan and share with citizen.
Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning department of BUET Dr Musleh Uddin said that, instead of providing parking facility, it is essential to make the area car free around Osmani Udyan. In addition, a public transport and non-motorized transport hub can be built. Before any types of infrastructure change it is important to conduct impact and sustainability study. Secretary of Bangladesh Environment Movement (BAPA) Sharif Jamil said that, it is not possible to compensate the loss of deforestation. We should be aware of undertaking all development projects.
Professor of Jahangirnagar University Dr Adil Mohammed Khan said that, the numbers of public spaces have shrunk in Dhaka city, so we must protect the existing ones. Director of WBB Trust Gaous Pearee said that, Osmani Udyan has traditional importance to us. Also it is important space for socialization opportunity. Executive member of Center for Urban Studies Dr Golam Murtaza said that, we need to form a taskforce committee to save Osmani Udyan. In addition it is important to illustrate the negative impacts of building parking infrastructure in the parks.
President of Bangladesh Institute of Planners (B.I.P) Dr Akter Mahmud presided over the discussion meeting and he said, Dhaka city offers very minimal public spaces to the citizens. It is an unexpected decision to increase parking facilities in park like Osmani Udyan. It is essential to provide pocket parks in walking distance in all neighborhoods.
The program was moderated by Joint Secretary of BAPA Maruf Hossain and Chairman of NASF Hafizur Rahman Moyna, Academia M Rashed Akter, Khokon Sikder form CDP, Chairman of Poribesh Andolon Moncho Amir Hossain, Farhana Zaman Liza from DIU, Monjurul Ahsan from Stop Emission Now Movement and many others were present in the event.