Sometime between 1895 and 1905, in a small area in the old part of the ancient city of
Decades of political strife throughout
As a result of this, the whole street of Painam Nagar, including its 50 mansions, has become a ghost town. Despite absence of the most basic necessities – no electricity, no water lines, no sewage disposal system – many of these houses have poor tenants who refuse to leave (nor get relocated). And if you’ve been inside one of the slums of Mumbai or Tondo, you would realize the sheer despondency of the tenant’s living conditions. Mumbai and Tondo slums suddenly seem posh.
Why the Restoration and Heritage Departments of the Bangladeshi government have all but neglected Painam Nagar is such a wonder. I am aware that restoration of 50 mansions wouldn't be cheap, but preservation of history is priceless. I read several articles regarding plans to relocate these tenants (there must have been half a dozen generations since the owners abandoned their mansions) and start restorations, but these have turned out to be mere publicity stunts in the last 5-10 years or so. Nothing concrete has happened.
These present tenants will fight getting relocated, but I really can’t imagine a harder life than staying in Painam Nagar. They hardly look like inhabited homes. At least the other slum dwellings elsewhere in
I am pretty sure that restoration of these mansions would eventually pay off in terms of tourism, not to mention the historical implications in a nation too pulverized by civil war, poverty, cyclones and other disasters, and population explosion.
This is the Eye in the Sky!