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Century-old Bangladesh lake now a theme park

IANS  |  Dhaka 

A lake that was dug nearly a century ago to provide water to the residents of Bangladesh's southeastern seaport city of Chittagong has been turned into a large theme park.

The man-made lake in Chittagong, 242 km southeast of capital Dhaka, was built in 1924 to provide water to the residents of the then British railway colony, Xinhua reported.

The lake was named after a British railway engineer named Foy, who conceptualized the project.

Today, Foy's Lake theme park has a picturesque setting since it is surrounded by hills and green forests located in Chittagong's Pahartoli district on some 336 acres of land.

Officials said thousands of tourists visit the Amusement World, a part of the park with the usual theme park rides and attractions as well as boat rides on the lake, dine in restaurants, attend concerts with floating stages, or just walk along scenic trails.

"We have come to Chittagong for our study tour. As part of that tour we have come to Foy's Lake, because we regard it as part of our history. This place helps us recall our historical past," said Md Imran Hossain, a student of history in Bangladesh's leading Jahangirnagar University.

The port city of Chittagong is considered by many as Bangladesh's most beautiful city because of its scenic spots that include the seaside, hills, rivers, forests and valleys.

"I am feeling great just by coming here. My children are also enjoying a lot," said a non-resident Bangladeshi who enjoyed singing and dancing with his family on top of a floating stage.

According to officials, the lake covers an area of about 5.5 sq km.

The management of the lake was turned over by the Bangladeshi government to Concord Group, a conglomerate, in 2004.

The Concord Group has since introduced a lot of improvements to the park. Its vision is to make the park a venue not just for sightseeing but also for corporate meetings and other social gatherings.

"Our company made an excellent synthesis of nature and modernity. The main attraction of this place is the lake. There is also an amusement park. There are various types of rides for various age-groups in this park," a Concord official said.

Besides, he said, there is the large water park named Sea World.

"We have Foy's Lake Bungalow and Resorts where visitors can stay. We also have many historical and folk shows. We organise various types of concerts," he said.

First Published: Tue, March 25 2014. 17:42 IST