CNI Desk: The construction work of ‘Unsotthur’, a museum project taken up to showcase the history of the Mass Uprising of 1969, has remained stuck halfway for a decade.
Due to negligence, the structure of the duplex museum located next to the road in front of Dhaka Medical College Hospital also went under the occupation of illegal grabbers and drug addicts.
Sources said that the Mayor of then undivided Dhaka City Corporation Sadeque Hossain Khoka and former Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Professor SMA Faiz unveiled the inauguration plaque of the museum in 2008.
The city corporation also spent Tk 51.2 million so far and more than half of the work has been completed. The project was abandoned in 2012 for fund shortage. Mahabub Brothers Private Limited and Khan and Sons were the contractors of the project.
During a recent visit to the spot, it was seen that the structure is in a neglected condition. Hawkers set up shops under the beams of the structure. The staircases are full of wastes as the under-construction site has become a safe haven of drug addicts.
Authorities of Dhaka South City Corporation have set up a secondary transfer station of waste on the east part of the structure while traffic police has set up a control room on the South part. One cannot find the inauguration plaque as it is covered by rickshaw-van garages and tea stalls.
Md Sultan, a garage owner who introduced himself as the former security guard of the structure, said he lost his job when the project work was halted in 2012.
“I was the security guard of the project. The project area was under fencing,” he said.
Locals of the area demanded to complete the development work of the structure and open the museum to the public.
Ibrahim Rasel, a resident of the Chankarphul area, said, “The structure remains in this condition for more than 10 years. We have heard that there will be a museum to preserve the memories of heroes of the Mass Uprising, including martyr Asad. The authorities should complete it so that the young generation can get to know the sacrifice of our heroes.”
The designer of the museum and former Professor of the architecture department of Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology (BUET) Dr Nizamuddin Ahmed said that the reason behind the construction of the museum was to collect and preserve the memories of heroes of the Mass Uprising of 1969.
“The spot in front of Dhaka Medical College Hospital was chosen as valiant hero Asad was killed there. The leaders of the Mass Uprising including Tofail Ahmed and Hasanul Huq Inu were involved in the project,” he told the Daily Sun.
“Sheikh Fazlul Huq Mani, the father of current Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, was also involved in the movement. So he should take steps to complete the construction work of the museum,” the architect added.
Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Executive Engineer of Zone -1 Mithun Chandra Shill has said he has been searching for the 15-year old file of the development project but has not traced it yet.
“As far as I know the development work got stuck due to financial shortage,” he said.
Asked, DSCC Panel Mayor Shahidullah Minu said, “It is a great initiative to preserve the Mass Uprising of 1969. The construction work should have been completed. But why the project got stuck I don’t know. I will request our mayor to take a fresh initiative to complete the project.”