The mayor of Chattogram on Tuesday vowed to resist the planned construction of a hospital in Chattogram Railway Building (CRB) area, considered the port city’s hub of natural oxygen.
Mayor of Chattogram City Corporation Md Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said this while exchanging views with members of Nagarik Samaj which has been protesting against the building a hospital at CRB area under a public-private partnership between the government and the United Hospital.
“We shall not allow construction of any structure, not only the hospital,” the mayor declared.
He said CRB, surrounded by hills and hundreds of trees, is a government-declared cultural heritage. “Any structure that destroys its natural beauty and damage the environment will be allowed here,” said the mayor expressing his solidarity with the protesters.
“The move to build a hospital in CRB is a part of an evil motive which will not be tolerated,” stated Mayor Rezaul adding “We all want hospitals but not in CRB.”
If the railway authority doesn’t allow any other land for building the hospital CCC is ready to provide land, he said.
Vice-Chancellor of Chattogram University, Prof. Dr Shirin Akter said the area is sacred as Liberation War martyr student leader Abdur Rab and many other martyrs were buried in CRB.
Building any kind of commercial establishment in the CRB will be like dishonouring the memory of the martyrs, she said.
The idea to build a hospital under Private Public Partnership in CRB was first broached at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on August 14, 2013.
But the project was finally approved in February 2020.
However, residents of the Port City got a rude shock when they came to learn about it on a signboard that appeared at the intended site some weeks ago.
The shock soon turned into a movement against the hospital planned at CRB, and it has kept gaining momentum.
On July 17, they held rallies, a tree plantation program, formed a human chain and even engaged in other forms of protests all day.
A legal notice was sent to concerned individuals including the Cabinet Secretary, Secretary of the Ministry of Railways, Director General of Bangladesh Railways and a few others by the Bangladesh Human Rights Foundation’ on behalf of the protestors to remove the hospital site elsewhere.
Source: United News of Bangladesh