Dilapidated structures

Saturday, 5 May 2018

SHAKHARI BAZAR of old Dhaka is a historic spot on the map of Dhaka. The area belonged to the Shakhari community, which used to make decorative bangles crafted from slices of Shakha or conch shells. The community was brought here by the Mughals who allotted this place for them which was later known as Shakhari Bazaar.
Shakhari Bazar has regularly hogged the headlines of the print and electronic media, mostly for the wrong reasons. Whenever there is an issue of safety of buildings, the typical example given is Shakhari Bazar. It has been dubbed the ultimate example of congestion, blight, and dilapidated buildings. It is only a block away from the river Buriganga which is the lifeline of our capital. The majority of the buildings at Shakhari Bazaar were built during the time of Mughal and British colonial era. I was brought up in old Dhaka and Shakhari Bazar was one of the places I frequented most during my growing up years. I went there a few days ago and was saddened to find many buildings in a precarious shape. These structures may collapse any moment unless appropriate steps are taken immediately. Some of the buildings have actually gone beyond any repair.
There are other areas also in old Dhaka where many buildings are standing in a wretched condition. The authorities concerned should therefore draw up plans to save Shakhari Bazar from the brink of destruction.
Imran Aziz
Niketon, Dhaka