Environmental activists yesterday put placards with the names of freedom fighters, including seven Bir Shreshthas, on trees at the capital’s Suhrawardy Udyan — in a symbolic bid to save them.
Three environmental organisations — Green Voice, Green Savers and Nongor Bangladesh — jointly started the activities to save the trees at the historic park.
The move came as some trees were felled by the public works department at the Suhrawardy Udyan as part of the implementation of a mega project at the historic site.
Talking to The Daily Star, Nongor Bangladesh President Sumon Shams said they put placards with names of 50 freedom fighters, including seven Bir Shreshthas, on trees.
Each tree has been named after one heroic freedom fighter, he said.
“We will place placards in the same way on all the trees at the Suhrawardy Udyan in different phases so that authorities cannot cut down the trees,” said Sumon Shams, adding that they will put more placards containing names of freedom fighters today.
“We don’t want any infrastructure at the Udyan by cutting trees,” said Ahsan Rony, founder of Green Savers.
“This is the way we will guard the trees every day. We will fight hard to save the trees,” he added.
Sabuj Andolon Chhatra Parishad yesterday put oxygen masks on their faces at the Udyan to protest cutting down trees.
Speakers demanded that the felling of trees must be stopped by authorities. If it does not, they will announce tougher movement after Eid Ul Fitr.
“We have put the symbolic oxygen masks on our faces as part of protest for saving trees. Every day we are taking in huge oxygen from trees. But in the name of development, government authorities have felled many trees for development projects,” said HM Baki billah, Secretary General of Sobuj Andolon Chhatra Parishad.
Leaders and activists of Socialist Students Front (Marxism) also held a rally with the same demand.
Salman Siddiqui, DU unit president of Socialist Students’ Front said, we demand an immediate stop to cutting down of trees and protecting the life of the garden.
On Wednesday, the Liberation War Affairs ministry in a statement claimed that there was a misunderstanding among people due to various media reports that published partial news regarding the project implementation.
It, however, admitted that some trees were felled at the Suhrawardy Udyan as part of the implementation. But at the same time, around 1,000 new trees will be planted there, said the ministry, adding that it expects support from citizens in this regard.
The project titled “Shawdhinata Stambha Construction Project in Dhaka” began its third phase, worth Tk 265.44 crore, in January 2018.