Demolition of a century-old laboratory building in Dhaka has to be stopped immediately, demanded eminent architects, green activists and artists yesterday.

They also sought repair of the building and turn it into a museum as it is an important part of the country's heritage with a great historical and cultural value.

They raised the demands at a human chain in front of the building in Khamarbari area.

Architects, green activists, and artists gather on the compound of a century-old building at Khamarbari of the capital yesterday, protesting demolition of the structure.
Architects, green activists, and artists gather on the compound of a century-old building at Khamarbari of the capital yesterday, protesting demolition of the structure. © Star

Urban Study Group (USG), which works to protect architectural heritage, and Poribesh Bachao Andolon (Poba) jointly formed the human chain.

Last week, a construction firm began knocking down the two-storey building, built in 1909, upon instructions from the Public Works Department (PWD).

Around three years ago, the PWD declared risky the colonial-era structure that used to house the offices of the Cotton Development Board, the custodian of the building, and the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE).

The board shifted its office from there around one and a half years ago and the DAE about four years back.

Addressing the programme, architect Mobasher Hossain said such buildings are the landmark of development, and preserve history of Bangladesh. So, those should be protected so that the new generation can know about the history, he said.

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“A court gave direction to stop demolition of the building, but it is being demolished avoiding the direction,” he said.

“Along with protecting the valuable infrastructure, we demand punishment for the people who worked behind it,” he added. He sought protection of other historical and archeological structures in the city and other parts of the country.

Poba Chairman Abu Naser Khan, artist Wakilur Rahman, architect Kazi Khaleed Ashraf, and Institute of Architects Bangladesh former president Abu Sayeed M Ahmed also spoke among others.

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