Government mulls retender to scrap BGMEA building

Ershad Kamol | Published: 00:02, Jul 22,2019 | Updated: 00:41, Jul 22,2019


Vacated Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association building on Hatirjheel in Dhaka. — New Age file photo

The government is considering floating a retender for demolishing the illegal 15-storey building of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association on Hatirjheel in the capital.

Housing minister SM Rezaul Karim told New Age on Saturday that the highest bidder in the recent tender had not submitted the action plan on how to demolish the building though the Rajdhani Unyayan Kartripakkha asked for it.

‘Without knowing the demolition procedure [for the building] we cannot take any risk as the government had a bad experience while demolishing the Rangs Bhaban in 2008,’ Rezaul said.

Even though several workers were killed when the Rajuk began to manually demolish the Rangs Bhaban back then, it again sought quotations for manually dismantling the 13-storey BGMEA building in last April without even calculating the building’s scrap value.

Five firms submitted tenders for tearing down the building but none of them was awarded work order in the past three months.

Rajuk chairman Sultan Ahmed said that they were looking for the structural design of the building in order to estimate the value of the 15-year-old building’s scrap and of the other materials used in the building.

‘We are also looking for the alternative options to demolish the building,’ he said.

Of the five bidders, Salam and Brothers quoted the highest price, Tk 1.7 crore, for the usable remains of the BGMEA building to be taken by the company after it demolishes the building at its own cost, Rajuk officials said.

Salam and Brothers’ managing director Salam Chowdhury said that they had provided an action plan along with their tender documents on April 24.

‘I don’t understand why the Rajuk is not issuing the work order,’ he said.

Rajuk took control of the BGMEA building on April 16 following a Supreme Court Appellate Division order.

On April 2, 2018, the Appellate Division for the third time extended the time limit for the BGMEA until April 11, 2019 to demolish the building.

Earlier on April 3, 2011, the High Court Division of the Supreme Court declared the building illegal and ordered the BGMEA to pull it down within 90 days.

The High Court also ordered the Rajuk to do the job and collect the cost from the apparel association if it failed to comply with its order.

Still earlier, following a New Age report on October 2, 2010, the High Court in a suo moto rule asked the government to explain why it would not be directed to demolish the BGMEA building built illegally on government land in violation of the laws on the conservation of environment and the capital’s wetlands.

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