RAJUK moves to pull down BGMEA Bhaban
Published : Wednesday, 17 April, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 571
The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) on Tuesday took control of the 15-storey Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Bhaban, constructed illegally on the Hatirjheel Canal, for demolition.
The BGMEA handed over the building to RAJUK for demolition as per the deadline set by the court.
With the demolition of the BGMEA Bhaban the apex court's order will reign despite all-out moves by the powerful association to save the Bhaban.
The RAJUK team arrived in the BGMEA building on Tuesday morning. Initially the authorities had taken the move to evacuate the building by shifting offices and belongings of tenants. RAJUK cut all the utility services to the building.
The move was taken in line with a Supreme Court order. A team of RAJUK led by its Director (Administration) Khandaker Waliur Rahman accompanied by a large team of law enforcement agency members took control of the building.
It also started removing offices from the sprawling 15-storey building. After completion of shifting offices and belongings the magistrate of RAJUK sealed the building on Tuesday evening.
Now, the authorities will fix the date for demolition of the building in consultation with the authorities of Hatirjheel project and the Joint Technical Committee.
According to witnesses, they were carrying modern
equipment needed to demolish a structure. A huge number of construction workers were also with them.
As the tenants of the building including some banks and other offices didn't leave the building, they were given times till 5pm to evacuate the building with their belongings.
After 5pm, the authorities took total control of the building and sealed it up for further actions.
"At least 19 organisations are housed in the building. We have asked those authorities to shift their belongings now. After shifting of their belongings, we have taken control over the structure," Waliur Rahman told journalist while talking to reporters.
He also claimed, "This is part of the demolishment work. It will take some time to shift their belongings as there are many offices in the building. We'll begin to demolish the building once they shift their stuff."
Regarding the process of demolishing the building, he said the authorities will use modern technology to demolish the building. It could be dynamites or other means used to demolish the building.
When asked about the process, RAJUK's Member (Development Control) Abul Kalam Azad told this correspondent that RAJUK is fully-prepared to knock the building down.
However, the process of demolition of the buildings would be finalised after consulting with the Hatirjheel project authorities.
It may take some times to start demolition of the building, he added.
When asked about expenditure of demolishing the structure, he said the expenditure will be met from the fund of Hatirjheel project.
According to RAJUK officials concerned, the expenditure was estimated at around Tk 25 crore in 2016 for demolishing the building. They haven't re-fixed the amount later.
On the spot, RAJUK Executive Magistrate Jasmine Akhter told reporters that they would take seven days to completely tear down the BGMEA building.
Responding to a query, the RAJUK official said, "We are entirely prepared to knock the building down, which will take us seven days to complete. Firstly, we will demolish the building part-by-part, then, we will detonate dynamite and use bulldozers to tear it down altogether."
"However, we have taken maximum measures including using ultra-modern machinery for the demolition to ensure the safety of the locals around the area during the procedure," she added.
Previously, law enforcers and bulldozers appeared before BGMEA Complex at 8am, ready to bring the building down. But, seeing the building still occupied, they were given some time.
BGMEA has already moved most of its assets and offices to its new building at Uttara Sector 17, which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on April 3.
It started constructing the building in November, 2018 after purchasing a 5.5-bigha plot from the government for Tk 11 crore.
BGMEA secured a final extension of their building on April 2, 2018 for a year and 10 days.
The Supreme Court's order was effective from April 12 that year to implement a previous verdict by Supreme Court that directed BGMEA to demolish the building.
Earlier on June 2, 2016, the SC upheld a 2011 High Court verdict that ordered demolition of the 15-storey BGMEA building.
The HC ordered the BGMEA authorities to demolish the building within three months, saying it was built on a land acquired through forgery and that a part of the Begunbari canal was illegally filled with earth for constructing it.
The new BGMEA building at Uttara might cost Tk300 crore, said BGMEA former vice-president Nasiruddin Chowdhury adding that the organization was mulling over a plan to demand compensation.