Parks should be free to the public

The Environment Bachao Andolan (PABA) has called for free public access to government parks.

This call was made in a statement signed by Mesbah Uddin Ahmed Sumon, General Secretary of the Environment Bachao Andolan on Saturday (July 6).

According to the statement, recently the entrance fee of six gardens and parks in Botanical Garden, Baldha Garden in Dhaka, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park in Cox’s Bazar, Lauachhra and Satchari National Park in Moulvibazar, Banshkhali Ecopark in Chittagong and Mymensingh Madhutila Ecopark has been increased by 5 times.

The Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry’s Forest Division-1 issued the notification as destructive, anti-people and reprehensible, the Save Environment Movement (PABA) said.

In a statement, Pobar leaders said that the number of safe public places suitable for public use across the country, including Dhaka, is limited. At present, public access to various lakes, parks and playgrounds is increasingly being controlled. It has a serious negative impact on the society. It is destroying social bonds.

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    The entrance fee to the botanical garden increased by 80 taka

Paba thinks that where the people of the country including Dhaka need to be directed towards gardens and parks, the opportunities for physical exercise and recreation should be kept unimpeded, commercial decisions like imposition and increase of entrance fees will make the young generation, students, common people and poor people away from parks. Article 15(c) of the Constitution of Bangladesh states that the state shall ensure the right of citizens to reasonable rest, recreation and leisure as one of the fundamental duties. Free entry to all fields, parks, lakes and gardens can be an excellent investment by the state for the physical and mental well-being of future generations.