A middle-aged man was sitting on one of the roadside benches placed around Rupayan City Uttara - a mega gated community project. There were other people as well, but the officials of the project accompanied all of them. This man, however, was sitting alone.
Mizanur Rahman is a businessman by profession. He recently booked a condo at the project and he often comes here in the evening.
So why this project?
"I remember running in the fields, playing football and cricket every evening during my childhood. But today, my children cannot find a place outdoors where they can play. I want to ensure my kids get the fields to play in."
Choosing a place to live in is one of the hardest decisions for an individual as it requires significant investment.
A location is not just important in terms of its connection to the urban environment but it also influences the whole family life; their activity, wellbeing, social life, work, and education.
To address all these needs, mega gated communities are a popular idea around the world. The communities ensure security, lifestyle needs and amenities, and neighbors of the same socio-economic class you can fraternise with.
The Rupayan City Uttara project, built on 134 bigha land, was born out of such an idea.
"Apart from owning a flat in the city, people also want someplace to be able to roam around and stay close to nature. With a vision to give people that little space beside nature along with a safe living condition, we built the Rupayan City Uttara," said Mahir Ali Khan Ratul, vice-chairman of Rupayan Group.
Construction inside the project area is still ongoing. One phase of the project is almost complete and the condos will soon be handed over to the owners.
More than 19.5 million people live in Dhaka, which spans 300 kilometers in length. This means more than 23,234 people occupy per square kilometer.
So, the unoccupied space and planned buildings of the project will instantly soothe your eyes and mind.
There are four phases to the ongoing project and it plans to include everything from a hospital to luxury hotels to international schools.
Three of the phases include residential complexes and the other one will be a commercial complex.
The residential complexes consist of three 10-storey buildings. Two of them are premium condos and the other one is a 10-storey building that has five sky villas (duplex apartments) with an option of a swimming pool on the top floor.
The fourth phase of the project is almost complete. This phase consists of a total of 19 bigha land area, and it is divided into two parts - A and B.
The first part has 11 premium condo buildings which, in total, has 315 premium condos. And the second part of this phase has three condo buildings with 81 premium condos.
Apart from the condo buildings, there is also a school building, a corner shop, and a Mosque in the area.
It might sound like a place with just buildings now, but the architects have designed the buildings leaving 63 percent of land empty for the roads and fields all around the project.
The facilities are also designed in a way that the residents get sunlight from every direction.
There is a field inside the building for the children as well.
All the electrical wiring is underground and you will not get to see any wires hanging overhead.
Inside the condos
Entering inside the condos, the passageway will lead you directly to the formal living room area with the guest bedroom in the right corner.
Next, you will find the dining and family living area - which is both accessible through the main entrance and the formal living room.
The condos are very spacious. The master bedroom is almost 220 square feet in size and has a separate dressing room. The second bedroom is also around 200 square feet.
All the bedrooms have attached balconies.
The condos also come with a separate bedroom and bathroom for the housekeeping staff.
In harmony with nature
The project is full of colours. The greens from the trees, yellow from the street lights, brown from the earth and benches placed along the roadside, and the blue from the sky above will make you feel like you have entered a beautiful park instead of a residential area.
There are bicycle lanes and walkways for pedestrians as well.
To utilise natural resources to the max, the project has a rainwater harvesting plant along with a water recycling plant, which includes a sewage treatment plant as well.
The sewage treatment plant comprises of preliminary, secondary, and tertiary treatment units, which will be used for the treatment of sullage and sewage waste.
The treated water is to be reused for flushing, landscaping, and road washing so that the buildings become zero sewage discharge units.
Gas supply and security
The gas for the whole area will be supplied from a centralised unit installed inside the project.
The unit will provide LPG service to the flat owners and the condo owners will have a prepaid gas meter.
In terms of security, there are CCTV cameras installed all over the complex to monitor all incoming and outgoing activities of people, vehicles, and goods.
Adequate firefighting equipment and firefighting system will be installed to protect against fire hazards. Fire alarm systems have already been installed at every level of the completed building.
To become an owner of a condo or villa inside the project, one has to spend between Tk12,000 to Tk17,000 per square feet, depending on the apartment and villa. The smallest apartment inside the complex is 1980 square feet, and the largest size is 7353 square feet for the penthouse-type duplex villas.
This means that you will at least need to pay at least Tk2.4 crores to become a resident of the premium mega gated community.