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13 August, 2016 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 12 August, 2016 09:05:58 PM

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Glass Tower complex not completed in 17 years

ABHIJEET DAS
Glass Tower complex not 
completed in 17 years
A view of the Swadhinata Stambha (Glass Tower or Tower of Light) at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital. The photo was taken yesterday. Independent photo

The foundation stone of the Swadhinata Stambha (Glass Tower or Tower of Light) was laid at Suhrawardy Udyan in 1999 to commemorate the historic March 7 speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. In two phases, the glass tower and the underground museum were built and opened for the public. However, the third phase is yet to start.  The 67-acre complex includes a 150-foot high glass tower, an underground museum, mural works, a 2,000-seat theatre,, a number of walkways, a water body and a very special Shikha Chirantony (eternal flame) symbolising the eternity of Bengali nationalism, and a mural based on the struggle for independence. The glass tower was opened for the public on 26 March, 2015, and the other on March 7, 2011. The ray of light from its base reaches up to 5 km above the tower. There is a 155-seat modern auditorium within the complex However, the complex cannot yet attract visitors. Many people do not even know about it.  It is hard to see the complex or the tower from outside Suhrawardy Udyan, formerly known as Ramna Race Course ground. In the third phase, a 60-foot wide pathway was supposed to be built through Shaheed Zia Shishu Park heading to the complex, so that people could have a direct view of the complex from the park. Besides, a light and sound show would be added to the tower and water dancing at the nearby waterbody. Even Shahabag Thana would be moved. An underground parking space for 500 cars would be made at Shishu Park.
Talking to The Independent, Kazi Firoz Hasan, executive engineer, Public Works Department, said: “It will not take more than a year to start the work of the third phase. The development project proposal (DPP) of the last phase has been submitted to the Planning Ministry. A meeting was held on it after some drifts on the third phase was revised. More meetings might be held on the implementation of the DPP. Later, the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) would finalise it.”
Under the first phase, the then Awami League government built the VIP and service blocks and most of the walkways, water body, mural works and development of south plaza and marble works.
In 2002, the BNP government established a Ministry of Liberation War Affairs. The responsibility of the supervision of this project was handed over to the new ministry.
Work for the second phase began in 2009, after the Awami League government came to power. The government increased the cost of the project to 181 crore and 61 lakh and named it as the second phase of construction. Work on the glass tower,   abandoned by the previous government, started again. The glass tower was completed in 2013 at a cost of Tk. 147 crore.
The Tower of Light, also known as the Glass Tower, is made of stacked glass sheets and has a base size of 16x16 ft (4.88x4.88 metres) and a total height of over 150 feet (45.73 m).
 The illumination of the Tower of Light has been orchestrated by the Singapore-based lighting design studio, LIGHT COLLAB.
The Tower of Light, the focal point of the Independence Monument designed by architects Marina Tabassum and Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury from Urbana, winners of the national design competition held by the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs and the Public Works Department in 1997.
The site for the Independence Monument is where Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Father of the Nation, delivered the historic speech that united the people of Bengal to fight for their liberation from 24 years of oppressive military rule under Pakistan. The Independence Museum was replete with mementos of the Liberation War and genocide of 1971.  
The entry fee to the museum is Tk. 20 for adults and Tk. 2 for children under 12. It remains open from Saturday to Wednesday from 10:30am to 5:30pm, while on Fridays people can enter the museum from 3:00pm to 8:00pm.

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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