Local people cautiously and consciously used to avoid Bayezid Sabuj Udyan located in the Chattogram Cantonment. The place used to be swarmed with drug dealers and drug addicts.
Various illegal structures on the compound would serve as shelters for the drug addicts and people who dealt drugs such as phensidyl, yaba and cannabis.
Locals say a group of influential people had built those illegal structures and rented them out.
Mohammad Shahjahan, an executive engineer of the Chattogram Public Works Department, said the piece of land owned by the department had been illegally occupied.
The place has been renovated into a park and will be open to the public on October 8.
In February 2017, the Public Works Department took up the project to free the land and build a park there.
An area of 2 acres has been cleared and the park has been built at a cost of Tk8 crore, featuring 4km of walkway, a 3,000 square feet pool, two galleries and amusement items for children.
People can now enter the park through two entrances. About 20 bins have been placed across the park to keep it clean, 46 benches have been placed for people to sit on, and public toilets have been constructed for male and female users.
Forty-one species of trees have been planted in the park. The park is also well lit at night.
CCTV cameras have been installed at several points for security.
The park will be open for everyone from 5:30am to 10am and 3pm to 9pm every day. Students are not allowed in the park during school and college hours.
However, even now there are 200 shanties known as the CMB slum adjacent to the park.
Belal Hossain, an employee of a private bank and a resident of the area, said, "There was a lack of open space in the port city. The park will give us the opportunity to go for a walk. We used to stroll along the main road, but that was risky. Now, I have a place where I can walk freely."