Staff Reporter

Right in the heart of Gulshan, the large slum of the low income groups known as Korail Bosti, is the den of criminals of different shades.  Despite a ruling from the High Court, powerful people are filling up the lake and expanding the slum area to construct more shanties. These powerful people control the dark world there and earn money in lacs by giving illegal electricity, water and gas connections to the houses and shops for monthly toll. They also control drugs, liquor and other contraband items business to amass money. They act as arbitrators when there is a theft or robbery in the slum. A recent tour in the area revealed many tin shade brick-built houses having two to four rooms. Mostly, people of low income bracket working in the nearby offices or houses seek such houses for rent. The 36 millionaires actually control the entire illegal business and provide protection from the law enforcing agencies when necessary. This may be recalled that devastating fire on a number of occasions had ravaged 40 to 50 percent of the shanties in the last 20 years.

It has been reported that there are two or more groups of men who control the entire slum. Sometimes they get into feud for control of new areas or vacant houses. Recently, a 9-member syndicate has emerged in the slum to take a slice of the cake. As a result in the last 6 months, more than 300 new houses have come up on the illegally filled up spaces. Of the 170 acres of BTCL’s land, the company now has only 10 acres in its possession. The rest 160 acres are in the possession of the slum godfathers. The entire work in Korail is supervised by the musclemen of the godfathers who would follow any stranger in the area.

A number of NGOs also work there to ensure education, and health of the women and children of the slum. The musclemen however  do not interfere in the work of the NGOs.