Buckland Bund

Buckland Bund an embankment on the northern bank of the river buriganga along the southern front of dhaka. It was constructed in 1864 under a scheme undertaken by the City Commissioner C T Buckland to protect Dhaka from flooding and river erosion, prevent formation of mud-flats along the bank and facilitate movement of passengers and cargo at the river ghat (wharf). The scheme, designed to be implemented by public subscription, also included construction of a promenade behind the bund to beautify the waterfront. Among the first to donate funds for the project were Nawab khwaja abdul ghani and the zamindar of Bhawal, Kalinarayan Roy.

Part of Buckland Bund, 1880

Despite considerable success in collecting subscriptions from the wealthy people of Dhaka, the funds generated proved insufficient for the project. Buckland then persuaded the government to provide support. Initially, the embankment on the riverfront from near the northbrook hall Ghat to Wiseghat was undertaken with provision for extensions eastward and westward upon availability of more funds.

The embankment was fortified with stone, and the top laid with bricks. Near sadarghat, part of the strand was left green, and was later turned into a miniature park with a raised dais where visiting dignitaries could be received on landing from steamers and where a local regimental band played daily in the afternoon for the entertainment of the people. The strand became an attraction to the city and a boon and was used as a promenade overlooking the river with its busy traffic, where people could stroll in the afternoon and evening while enjoying the cool breeze from the river. In the 1870s, Nawab Abdul Ghani undertook its extension westward from Wiseghat and in the 1880s, Babu Ruplal Das and Raghunath Das extended it eastward from near Northbrook Hall. The embankment eventually extended to about one and half kilometre in length and was later handed over to the municipality for maintenance. [S M Mahfuzur Rahman]