RAJDHANI Unnayan Kartripakkha, the agency responsible for planning the capital city and enforcing relevant laws to control its urbanisation, itself flouting the detailed area plan, which it adopted in 2010 under the master plan prepared in 1995, for Dhaka is disparaging. Rajuk, as New Age reported on Tuesday, continues to take projects on areas that it has flagged as flood flow zones and agricultural land in gross violation of the detailed area plan and has rendered the city plan to be virtually of no significance. Rajuk has completed the feasibility study to develop a 201-acre residential-cum-commercial area on the bank of the River Balu and a review of the plan shows that the project would swallow flood flow zone and cropland in the place. Furthermore, Rajuk has also taken up a residential area project, mainly for the lawmakers, on 2,290 acres of land at Keraniganj that would swallow areas designated in the plan for conservation. Rajuk residential projects such as Jhilmil, Purbachal and Uttara 3rd Phase are implemented on flood flow zones and cropland. What makes the situation even despairing is that others are following in the footstep of Rajuk and, thus, adherence to the detailed area plan has become almost impossible.
Rajuk, however, sought to explain that the projects were planned in areas designated in the detailed area plan for conservation only after having provisions for lakes and open spaces in the housing projects. This seems to be too inadequate an explanation for Rajuk to have in place the detailed area plan, in the first place, and then to flout it giving reasons that could very well be an affront to the existence of the city master plan. Experts have, as New Age quoted them as saying, rightly raised concerns that such gross violation of the detailed area plan by the city planning authorities themselves has encouraged others to do the same and Rajuk, being the offender itself, is left with no moral courage to take action against the violations. All these violations together have already defeated the purpose of having the detailed area plan for the development of Dhaka as a planned city. An expert committee reviewing the detailed area plan has made some recommendations, which have been included in the plan, that 17 housing and other development projects of the government and private real estate companies that encroached on flood flow zones should be scrapped. But Rajuk has not only ignored the recommendations but it has also continued taking up projects on flood flow zones and cropland flouting the plan.
The government, under the circumstances, is left with no option but to come down heavily on Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha and force it free the flood flow zones it has encroached on. It is anybody’s guess why Rajuk violates the plan and the government must hold its officials to account for breaching the plan to the benefits of a few and ushering in a disaster that could have telling effects on all.
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