Sunday, January 21, 2007

New Market Dhaka since 1952


General view of New Market, Dhaka, from outside

Entry through south gate

Shops under mosque - once a green field

Life goes on at the book corner

AKS photographers - still going strong since 1954

Entry from north gate

Caps occupy landing space of New Super Market

New super market - central lobby

Market toilet - lot more improved than before

Loader boys pose for photo

Bonolata - kitchen market lobsters in ice

Rui fish - dipped in formalin water to keep it look fresh

Pangash and Boal - favourites of many

Local variety of candy floss - 'Hawai Mithai'

Garbage container outside market and the scavengers

South gate

New Market, north of Azimpur, Dhaka began its construction in 1952 by C&B Dept. on 35 acres of land during the period Mr. Nurul Amin, the Chief Minister of East Pakistan. Market was completed in 1954. Mr. Nurul Amin was also active in establishing the first posh hotel Shahbagh at Shahbagh area (now PG hospital). This heralded the beginning of a new area of development towards modernizing Dhaka. Rickshaw ride or walking along the narrow lanes of old Dhaka for shopping was not a happy experience for families. Old Dhaka was too conservative, noisy and crowded. Ironically, Mr. Nurul Amin’s modernization project boomeranged as people talked against it. Some believed New Market and Shahbagh hotel were made exclusively for Nurul Amin’s family. The rumor gave credence to common people, so much so that in the general election of 1954, Muslim League was routed in East Pakistan by the United Front of Sohrawardy, Haque and Bhasani. Mr. Nurul Amin lost in election miserably against a less known student leader, losing the deposit money.

New market area is triangular in shape with 3 high arched entry gates on three sides. There were spaces for 440 shops and a nice triangular lawn at the center. Shops sold variety items, benarasi saris, suiting, ornaments, leather items, books. Photo studios and restaurants were around the park inside.

In 50's and 60's, it was the most popular place for shopping as well as recreation. Young people, particularly college and university students in groups, donned in best attire, moved round and round in the evening for hours. Girls came in separate groups. For them, free-mixing with classmates (boys) outside was not permitted by the society. Clashes often occured between rival groups of boys over influence or protection of groups of girls, many of those boys later became ministers and high bureaucrats.
In 80’s, 3 more New Market blocks were constructed on the north under Dhaka City Corporation e.g. New Super Market for crockeries, Bonolata for kitchen market, Chandrima for varieties of items and D- block for groceries, each having over 1000 shops. The nice green park inside has been converted into a mosque at first floor level with 62 new shops under it.
Many new large and ultra modern malls have sprung up in Dhaka, but the importance of New Market in Dhaka cannot be underestimated.

4 comments:

Samiha Esha said...

Hello Sir, Its really nice to visit your blogspot...I am really happy that you keep yourself relate with web community....Your blogspot is simply superb...thanks for such an interesting blogspot about Dhaka...You are great...thank you again :)

nhm tanveer hossain khan (hasan) said...

Hello uncle,
it is an amazing creature... you did, thank you too much for adding so much colors on it... keep it up :) wish to see your more colorful pictures...
best wishes ...

ershad ahmed said...

Thanks to both..

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