Bangladesh’s Historic Lalbagh Fort Wall Demolished for Parking Lot
Part of a wall surrounding the 400-year-old Lalbagh Fort in Dhaka, Bangladesh has been demolished by the government’s archaeological authority to make way for a parking lot for VIPs.
The destruction has sparked outrage in Dhaka, not the least because the government routinely claims it cannot afford to maintain historical sites, but has come up with the necessary funds to invest in parking spaces.
Abu Naser Khan, chairman of Bangladesh Poribesh Bachao Andolon (BAPA), a local community group, told the Dhaka Tribune, “The construction of the parking area is clearly an adverse action against the main design of Lalbagh Fort. It is also a violation of the Antiquities Act, 1986.”
He angrily added “Whenever we ask for traditional and historical monuments to be protected, preserved and restored, the authorities claim a lack of funds makes such work difficult if not impossible. But we see that they have managed to find Tk30 lakh ($386,000) to build a parking lot.”
However the director general of the Archaeological Department refuted the claims. He insisted “This will not adversely affect the main design of the fort.” He also pledged “I will look into it. If I find something wrong, I will take action.”
However, Abu Naser insinuated that government corruption is behind the planned construction work. “The proposed parking lot will benefit a certain interested quarter,” he said, adding that officials have “failed to produce any legal document or permission to construct the parking lot.”
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