Dhaka beggars to be cleared for World Cup

Dhaka beggars to be cleared for World Cup

Home Affairs minister Shahara Khatun said Wednesday her ministry would ask police and city authorities to implement the plan and other recommendations put forward by a World Cup security committee.

"We may take the street beggars to the social welfare ministry's shelters for the time being," Khatun said.Dhaka, a city of more than 10 million people, has about 100,000 beggars while thousands of people make a living selling cheap products on streets and walkways.

The government is considering declaring holidays for schools and colleges on some match days to reduce overcrowding on the streets.

Khatun said the government would also consider a public holiday on February 17, when Dhaka's Bangabandhu National Stadium would host the opening ceremony.The minister said a "foolproof" security would be in place as players, guests and spectators start arriving in Bangladesh from early February.

She said there was no specific terrorist threat against the games in Dhaka or the southern city of Chittagong, but the government does not want to take any chances. Helicopters will remain ready for emergencies while a special contingent of military troops would be on alert.The World Cup is being co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, with games from February 19.