An owner of a dilapidated multi-storey market in Sylhet on Thursday said that he would not shoulder any responsibility of the possible loss of lives and property of the leaseholders in case of any future disaster as they were not vacating the place and allowing the owner to reconstruct the old building.
Dewan Shamsher Raja Chowdhury, one of the owners of Raja Mansion at Zindabazar, said, ‘I am requesting the leaseholders to vacate it soon to escape the loss of lives and property as any disaster can take place anytime because of the risky condition of the market.’
Shamsher Raja Chowdhury, also a descendant of mystic poet Hason Raja, made the claim at a press conference on behalf of the owners at his house at Dargah Gate area in the city in the afternoon.
He also demanded immediate step of the administration to close the market.
After declaring the market risky by the Sylhet City Corporation and Fire Service and Civil Defence department in 2016, initiatives were taken several times to turn it a modern shopping mall after demolishing its dilapidated structure and to distribute shops among the tenants according to their previous list as well as existed possessions.
But, the shopkeepers opposed the rebuilding of the market and ignored repeated requests to vacate that, alleged Shamsher Raja.
Also former upazila chairman, Shamsher, said that his father Taimur Raja Chowdhury built the three-storey Raja Mansion on 42 decimal of land in the centre of erstwhile Sylhet district town in 1975 and leased out its 187 shops among local traders in a nominal rent.
After recurrent earthquakes took place on May 21 and May 30, the city corporation had kept the market closed for 10 days and then the corporation reopened that without taking any security measure that was not understandable, Shahmsher alleged.
Even the traders have recently started repairing the market without taking any consent of its owners, who have already asked them to vacate the market within June 30 to rebuild it, he said.
‘We requested Sylhet City Corporation mayor to take immediate step to close the market but he did not take any effective effort,’ Shamsher alleged at the press conference.
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