Commercial structures in residential areas across the country would be considered illegal from April 4, the date of the Cabinet approval given to a proposal of the Local Government Division on removal of the illegal structures from those areas to restore its basic character.
Local Government and Rural Development Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain on Thursday urged the owners of the government allotted plots in the residential areas to remove illegal structures within 6 months from the date of the Cabinet decision.
Otherwise, the government will start joint eviction drive against those commercial structures, the Minister warned at a press conference in his Ministry conference at the Secretariat.
Local Government Secretary Abdul Malek also spoke at the press conference.
The Cabinet on Monday approved a proposal of the Local Government Division to remove illegal entities like bars, guesthouses, hotels, hospitals and educational institutions from residential areas of the cities across the country after giving them a six-month deadline.
Owners of those buildings having such unauthorised entities have been asked to remove those within the next six months.
The LGRD Minister said licences of commercial entities and illegal structures in residential areas will be cancelled. The LGD has already started working to find out illegal entities in those areas. The authorities that approved such entities violating government provision will also be punished, if they are found guilty.
He informed initially the government found a total of 5,488 buildings and structures in Dhaka's Dhanmondi, Mohammadpur, Mirpur, Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara, Khilkhet and Uttara area that are having commercial structures of bars, guesthouses, hotels, hospitals and educational institutions. Of those, only 568 structures have legal permission while 4,920 are illegal.
If the owners of the structures do not remove those within the stipulated period set by the government, the authorities concerned will start eviction drive from the next month. The eviction drive will be completed within a month of the deadline, he added.
When asked about whether the educational institutions and hospitals in those areas will also be considered for the eviction, the Minister replied, "It will depend on the use of the structures. Those being operated for commercial purposes will be removed and those identified as charitable organizations will be allowed to continue their activities."
The authorities concerned like city corporations, RAJUK and National Housing Authority will take necessary steps against those illegal entities. Their licences will be cancelled and utility services like electricity, gas and water supply and telephone connections will be disconnected, he said adding, "The NBR will also cancel their VAT and Tax registration."
The authorities concerned will stop issuing further approval of such structures in those areas.