The land which has been handed over to the Dhaka Club stretches from the gate of Institute of Engineers Bangladesh to Tin Netar Majar (graveyard of three leaders).
According to the housing and public works ministry, the park which once covered 100 acres of land shrank over the years as structures including Sarak Bhaban and Police Control Room were erected around its perimeter.
Background History: Nawab Abdul Ghani acquired land in Shahbagh and Paribagh, took lease of race course from the British to patronize horse racing which became very popular. A club was built (Gymkhana club) on the north edge which was opened in 1911 by Lord Lanslott. Today Dhaka Club is the oldest recreation organisation and the largest of elite clubs in Dhaka, According to Prof Muntasir Mamoon of History Department at Dhaka University, the British rulers took over a large portion of Nawab’s estate in Ramna in 1941.
They leased out 524 bighas of land to Dhaka Club from it. Of those,190 bighas were used for a race course while 19 bighas for a golf course.
After independence, Bangladesh government opened the area to public entrusting the public works ministry with its maintenance.
To read the developments in the Daily Star:
To read the news in Bengali: Prothom Alo, Nov 5 2007
Reactions of Dhakaites & the enviromentalists: Rumi Ahmed’s wordpress Blog