The Dhaka University vicinity boasts numerous enchanting ponds, all of which receive meticulous maintenance. These reservoirs are embraced by verdant trees, and there are benches thoughtfully placed along the banks, providing a tranquil setting to unwind and appreciate the water's serenity. It's a familiar scene to witness students engaged in lively conversations or focused on their studies near these aquatic retreats. Vice Chancellor Prof Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique has expressed his determination to undertake additional initiatives in order to protect all the university's ponds, acknowledging the scarcity of such water bodies in the city.
POND AT JAGANNATH HALL
Since the British period, the pond at Jagannath Hall has been a prominent feature. Students make use of the 4-bigha reservoir for bathing and swimming, and it is diligently maintained. The pond is encircled by trees such as jack fruit, mango, and krishnachura, and there are ghats on both the western and eastern sides. As part of its renovation work, the pond was dug up again approximately six years ago, and the western ghat was constructed during that period. Nikunja Chandra Roy, a hall official, mentioned that they make regular efforts to keep it clean.
POND AT SHIBBARI
Even with around half of the century-old Shibbari Staff Quarter pond being filled up by the DU authorities for the construction of a multi-storey residential building for the university's fourth class employees, the pond still maintains a relatively better condition. The building itself was completed during the years 2013-2014. When contacted, the VC stated that the building was constructed with the purpose of properly safeguarding the pond, and they have already built banks to ensure its protection.
POND AT JAHURUL HAQUE HALL
The pond has been around since the hall was established in 1957. According to Sirajul Islam, the principal administration officer of the hall, they used to organize swimming competitions for students about 15 years ago.
Back then, the hall was called Iqbal Hall, and the pond was known as Iqbal Hall pond. However, in 1972, the hall was renamed Sergeant Jahurul Haque.
The reservoir, which covers an area of around 8 bighas, has a depth of approximately 15 feet. The authorities responsible for its maintenance regularly take care of it.
"We would like to carry out some additional renovation work, but we need proper funding for that," he mentioned.
Initially, the university's engineering section used to look after the pond, but in 1978, it came under the responsibility of the Hall Employee Samity. They used to cultivate fish in it as well, but that practice stopped in 2015.
POND INSIDE MUSEUM
Nestled behind the Bangladesh National Museum is a picturesque pond, covering an area of approximately 1.5 bighas. The pond is surrounded by a lush green landscape and is meticulously maintained by the authorities responsible. Sayed Shamsul, the museum's education officer, shared that the pond underwent renovation in 1983 when the museum was relocated to Shahbagh. Previously, it had been left abandoned. Shamsul also mentioned their consistent efforts to keep the reservoir clean. Litan Khandakar, a member of the museum staff, reminisced about a time around 20 years ago when there was a scarcity of water in the area, and the staff used the pond for bathing.
2 PONDS IN OSMANI UDYAN
The authorities in charge of Osmani Udyan have done an excellent job in maintaining two beautiful ponds. One of these ponds, occupying a vast area of five acres, is situated on the western side, while the other, spanning around 2 acres, can be found on the eastern side. These peaceful reservoirs are surrounded by lush trees, further enhancing the serenity of the surroundings. It's quite common to witness people taking a dip in these ponds, enjoying the rejuvenating experience they offer.
RAMNA KALI MANDIR POND
The Ramna Kali Mandir's ancient pond is in a deplorable condition. It is currently possessed by the government. Amlan Kumar Kartik, the member secretary (finance) of the Mandir, stated that according to historian AH Dani, the pond (dighi) was excavated by the Queen of Bhawal Bilas Moni. However, documents from the British period indicate that magistrate Charles Dawes dug the reservoir to fulfill the locals' requirement for drinking water. "We have already submitted applications to five ministries to gain ownership of the pond so that we can take care of it," he mentioned.