Space For Rent

Space For Rent
Wednesday, October 7, 2015, Aswin 22, 1422 BS, Zilhaj 22, 1436 Hijr

Inordinately Rich Obaidul Karim -Part 4
Windfall profit of Tk 5,000cr by investing Tk 116.6cr!
Jibon Islam
Published :Wednesday, 7 October, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 45

The job of a developer helped the group find a lamp of fortune like Aladin, a character in the fairytale Arabian Nights who made his fortune overnight. Leave alone the medieval Aladin, come down to know about an Aladin of the recent times.
It's all about Orion Group. It may seem a miracle but the group has earned Tk5000 crore profit by investing merely over Tk116 crore in constructing the 37-story building, City Centre. The City Centre has been built on the land of the then single Dhaka City Corporation. Actually, this DCC land was earmarked for the construction of a long-awaited transport pool in the busiest downtown Motijheel Commercial Area.
Orion Group sold out 30 floors including basement that is extended from first to 4th floor of this commercially developed building. It may be noted that because of commercial importance of the area, the basement floor is the most costly segment of this sprawling building. Of the total 37 floors, the three underground floors and seven other floors are kept as car parking spaces. But the whole commercial floors of the building were occupied by the Orion Group through various fraudulent means in connivance with former City Mayor Sadek Hossain Khoka. 
City Centre is the tallest building not only in Dhaka's commercial hub but also in entire country. With gorgeous inner decoration of high taste, the outside of the building is glass-covered and as such it is also known as a Glasshouse.
For reason only known to the then Mayor Khoka, the DCC from its share of the total building sold out three floors -  8th, 9th and 10th floor covering  29157.28 sft at throwaway prices.  Orion Group brought it at Tk 116.6 crore at the rate of 40,00 per sft against a normal price of Tk over one lakh per sft of the area.
Nonetheless, DCC had resorted to various fraudulent means during the whole sale process of this costly building. It floated sale tender secretly ignoring  the  provisions of making the tender public for the sake of transparency and accountability. This tactic was adopted to ensure the tender for Orion Group keeping the other potential and interested buyers in the dark. The whole process was completed very secretly with ulterior motive.  
Orion Group allegedly sold the total space it has acquired from the DCC at over Tk 6030 crore by investing over Tk 116 crore. Besides, the Orion Group has kept under its possession the total basement (from 1st to 4th  floor), which is valued at Tk 2.5 lakh per sft.
The DCC also indulged in cheating the members of the public in various other ways. Although it said that it has kept parking space over 1st floor to 7th floor, the arrangement of car parking has made in such a way that once any car-owner goes there for parking his vehicle, he would never make this mistake as there was no easy way or lift system to come down after parking the car. Such hazardous situation has been created with only an ill-purpose that one day the DCC would be forced to sell out this so-called parking spot to the Orion Group.
The clever Orion Group always takes shelter of powerful ruling cliques to continue their unethical activities. During the regime of BNP-Jamaat-led government, so to say when Khoka was mayor of the DCC, the Orion Group used the trump card of Gias Uddin Al-Mamun, the business partner of BNP senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman, the mentor of Hawa Bhaban. So, at that time there was nobody to touch them.
Ironical though, when the regime was changed and the Awami League-led 14-party grand alliance came to power, the Orion Group overnight changed its 'big brother'. It is alleged that Orion is now under the shelter of Alauddin Nasim, a veteran Awami Leaguer who was once a prominent leader of Chhatra League at  Chittagong University. The Orion is now under the hobnobbing with Alauddin Nasim who is said to have easy access to the present regime. He is all time help of Orion Group. His support is to make Orion Group more powerful than it is.
When the attention of the group's top brasses was drawn to the massive corruption by them, they averted the issue.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
Published by the Editor on behalf of the Observer Ltd. from Globe Printers, 24/A, New Eskaton Road, Ramna, Dhaka. Editorial, News and Commercial Offices : Aziz Bhaban (2nd floor), 93, Motijheel C/A, Dhaka-1000. Phone :9586651-58. Fax: 9586659-60, Advertisemnet: 9513663, E-mail: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]