PM for following Louis Kahn’s plan

Mustafizur Rahman | Published: 00:16, Nov 26,2019


The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Monday instructed a fresh move to relocate the Bangladesh Secretariat that houses offices of ministers and civil bureaucrats from the Abdul Gani Road to Sher-E-Bangla Nagar in keeping with architect Louis I Kahn’s plan.

Chairing the weekly cabinet meeting at her Tejgaon office, she asked the housing and public works minister SM Rezaul Karim for steps to shift the country’s administrative hub to the open space near the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre examining Louis I Kahn’s plan for Jatiya Sangsad Complex and its surroundings.

The new site would cover the open space earlier used as venue for international trade fair and portion of Chandrima Udyan where graveyard of former president Ziaur Rahman was located, according to officials.

About the two under-construction high-rises—one for finance ministry and the other for the Cabinet Division inside the secretariat, the prime minister said that no more new buildings would be constructed in the secretariat complex which would later accommodate offices of different agencies and departments scattered in different places, according to the minister.

‘We have got the instruction for steps to relocate the secretariat to Sher-E-Bangla Nagar area based on the plan of architect Louis I Kahn as part the government plan to develop a planned Dhaka city and ensure better coordination among government agencies,’ Rezaul Karim said at his office.

He said the new secretariat complex would include modern facilities including sub-station for power supply, better drainage system, car park, food court and conference centre.

The ruling Awami League after coming to power in 2009 decided to relocate the secretariat, but it could not many any progress to the effect.

Later in October, 2015, the Executive Committee of National Economic Council turned down a proposal to shift Bangladesh Secretariat complex to Sher-e-Bangla Nagar as it was not prepared based on the original plan prepared by Louis I Kahn, architect of the Jatiya Sangsad complex.

In the ECNEC meeting, Hasina gave instructions to present the project plan again after getting the original drawings.

The copy of the plan the Estonia-born American architect had drawn for the Jatiya Sangsad Complex and its surroundings in 1962 was now obtained by the government. 

Monday’s cabinet approved in principle the draft of Bangladesh Maritime Zones Bill 2019 determining the maritime zones with the provision of death penalty in case of killing people during robbery or any violence in the sea area, cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam told a briefing at the secretariat  after the meeting.

The foreign ministry placed the draft bill prepared in line with international conventions in the cabinet meeting.

The draft law determines Bangladesh’s rights over exclusive economic zone up to 200 nautical miles and while its sovereign rights over 350 nautical miles in the continental shelf of the sea, he said.

The cabinet secretary said the cabinet also endorsed a proposal to ratify ‘Kigali amendment to Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete Ozone Layer.’

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