WORLD CUP 2011
Keen on presenting a pretty face to the world, the capitals' keepers are busy with restoration, decoration and clean up across Dhaka.
The world will be watching this city from Feb 17 when the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 opens at Bangabandhu National Stadium. Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) is busy revamping major areas in preparation of the event.
DCC's City Beautification Cell chief Bipin Kumar Saha told bdnews24.com that 22 kilometres of road from Shahjalal Airport to Sonargaon and Sheraton hotels, and from the hotels to the two stadiums were being redecorated.
Mintu Road, Baily Road and Kachukhet to Mirpur 10 are also undergoing some renovation.
Along the roads there will be 1.5 million fairy lights adorning 25,000 trees. All illegal encroachments on the roads and sidewalks are being removed.
Road dividers and foot over bridges are being painted anew. Flower bushes are being planted on the dividers, especially in the Mirpur area. The bushes will be replaced during the World Cup if any die out.
Walls and lamp posts are being cleared of posters and graffiti and are being repainted. The repainting is due to be complete by Feb 15. The owners of buildings along the roadsides have also been ordered to repaint.
DCC has sent a letter to the social welfare ministry requesting a rehabilitation of homeless and beggars.
Saha said that matches will be broadcast on 15 big screens across the city during the World Cup.
He admitted that things were being rushed. "The ICC (International Cricket Council) decided very late that we were to be a venue. It was a hurried decision after the cancellation of Pakistan. So we are in a rush. But none of the work is insincere."
Saha urged the citizens for their cooperation, requesting that no one put up posters on walls and that garbage is disposed in a proper way.
Citizens, however, had many doubts about the efficiency of the work.
Nigar Sultana, a student, said, "The decorations are beautiful. The roads look much larger, but I noticed that they had cut down some trees. I don't know how cutting down trees adds to decorating."
Shawkat, a student of Mohammadpur, said the hurried evictions were causing more of a mess than a cleanup. "And there's too much dust," he added.
Shakhawat's mother Shirin, said it was a good initiative to rehabilitate beggars.
DCC is evicting all hawkers and illegal shops from the street. The social welfare ministry has also been asked to take beggars and the homeless to homeless shelters.
Rabiul Islam, a street vender from Mohakhali Hawkers' Market, was in dismay.
"I'm very happy that the country will host the World Cup. But where will I go?"
Rabiul's living has become uncertain as police evicted his shop from the road two days ago. Hawkers of the market have long demanded rehabilitation of their businesses, claiming they are willing to leave the streets.
"I heard that the government is rehabilitating beggars. What about rehabilitating us?"