'Paris Road' in Rajshahi University is one of the iconic sites of the university campuses in the country. The road is famous for the majestic presence of 30-40 metre-high Gangan Shirish trees along its sides.
Stretching from Kazla Gate to Sher-e-Bangla Hall on the campus, the road had become known as 'Paris Road' because of its resemblance with roads in Paris, the capital of France. The road is integrated with the history, culture and heritage of the university.
But, in recent years concern has grown about conserving the road.
The trees along the road Albiziarichardiana, locally known as Gagan Shirish, generally have a lifespan of 50-60 years. Planted in 1965, the trees are on the verge of their lifespan.
This has made the trees vulnerable to rainstorms. In 2019, a tree was uprooted by a rainstorm and damaged the surrounding walls of VC's residence.
Considering the risk, several trees along the road were cut down in the past years, significantly diminishing the beauty of the road.
The '50 Years Master Plan' of the university formulated last year has given special importance to the preservation and development of heritage sites which also includes the Paris Road.
A team of Botany department of the university is currently working to conserve the heritage site. The team headed by Prof Dr Sabrina Naz is trying to grow saplings of Gagan Shirish and plant them in the place of aged and dead trees.
Prof Naz said, "After frantic efforts, especially from the gardeners of Botany department, we have been able to reproduce saplings of Gagan Shirish. We will gradually plant the tree saplings in place of uprooted and cut down trees."
"With continuous efforts, we will be able to conserve the Paris Road and its beauty," she hoped.