Initiatives will be taken to preserve the ancient structures of Old Dhaka – Boro Katra and Chhoto Katra, said Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh
"Boro Katra is on the verge of ruin due to rampant encroachment and demolition by various interest-seeking groups. We will not allow this establishment to be destroyed in such a way. We will take the necessary steps to fully renovate and preserve the heritage establishments," the mayor said after inspecting the Boro Katra, Chhoto Katra and their adjacent lands in the Chawkbazar area of Old Dhaka on Wednesday.
Besides, the Dhaka South City Corporation has sealed the boundaries by prohibiting the demolition of adjacent structures in the Boro Katra area.
"I was very dismayed to see that a part of the Boro Katra was demolished. We have contacted the Directorate of Archaeology, and are also in touch with the district administration. We will investigate how this demolition took place," Mayor Taposh said.
Bara Katra was built by Mir Abul Qasim, the diwan (chief revenue official) of Mughal Prince Shah Shuja. Within a gap of around one and half years, Subahdar Shaista Khan constructed Chhoto Katra in the Swarighat area of Chawkbazar.
The heritage structures later should be vested in the government – either in the district administration or in the city corporation. Otherwise, it will be vested under the Archeology Department or Public Works Department. There is no way the structures could fall outside the government's jurisdiction, the mayor added.
Maybe it happened due to the negligence of government agencies or lack of attention. The awareness of preserving such heritage structures must be among everyone. If these are destroyed, Dhaka will lose its identity.
"So however this may have happened, or whoever might be behind this, we will preserve the establishments at any cost," Mayor Taposh said.
The renovation of the heritage structures was included in Dhaka South City Corporation's master plan. But the demolition process began promptly. However, Dhaka South has put a ban on the demolition activity and sealed the boundaries.
Dhaka South City Corporation plans to develop the Boro Katra as a traditional tourist centre.