RAJUK OFFICIALS’ LINK TO BUILDING CODE VIOLATION

ACC to dig deep into dirty deals

Ahammad Foyez | Published: 23:48, Apr 09,2019 | Updated: 23:56, Apr 09,2019

 
 

An aerial view shows a cluster of tall buildings constructed leaving hardly any space in between at Nikunja in Dhaka. The photo w taken on Tuesday — New Age photo

The Anti-Corruption Commission has decided to ask the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha to inform the commission about the actions the city development authority had taken against owners of 6,204 buildings built violating approved designs until 2013.
The commission would also ask the Rajuk chairman about actions been taken against its officials involved, if any, in building code violations, a commission director general told New Age on Tuesday.
He said that the commission secretary would send the letter to Rajuk soon.
He said that the March 28 fire in 23-storey FR Tower at Banani in Dhaka that killed 27 people prompted the commission to make the decision as a joint team of the commission and Rajuk spotted the 6,204 buildings built violating approved designs between 1997 and 2013.
The commission and Rajuk conducted the survey following a High Court order in 2013 and submitted the list of the 6,204 buildings to the court, said the commission official.
In 2013, a commission team led by its deputy director SM Sahidur Rahman found that a good number of high profile developers, business groups and political leaders also ignored the building code while constructing buildings in posh areas of the capital, he said.
The team found that over 90 per cent high-rises were erected in the city and the adjoining areas without mandatory clearance from the Department of Environment while 94 per cent buildings were built without fire safety certificate in 1997-2013, he added.
In the first six-month of 2018, Rajuk conducted a survey on 1,95,376 building in 1,528 square kilometres, Rajuk officials said.
They said that the survey found that 1,31,583 of the buildings were built violating the approved designs while 3,342 under construction buildings were also deleted for violation of the approved designs.
Following instructions from housing minister SM Rezaul Karim after the Banani fire, 24 Rajuk teams started drives on April 1 to find out multi-storeyed buildings constructed flouting the National Building Code.
Urban planners blamed the government for ‘sleeping in the past nine years just like Rip Van Winkle’ and taking no action to create the National Building Code Enforcement Agency as directed by the High Court Division on October 13, 2010.
On October 13, 2010, the bench of Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, now the chief justice, and Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore in verdict asked the government to create the agency in one year and until then directed the existing authorities to enforce the building code across the country.
The bench issued the directives after disposing of a public interest litigation writ petition jointly filed by Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation and Safety and Rights Society in 2008.

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