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RAJUK’s faulty structure inspection drive on hold

Minister assures to restart soon

Published : Thursday, 17 October, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 626
Mohosinul Karim

Rajdhani Unnayan Katripakkha (RAJUK), the authority that regulates the capital city's housing sector, could not restart inspection of the faulty and illegal buildings in
the city.
Although the inspection started in April 1 after the devastating fire at the FR Tower in Banani, it came to a grinding halt only after 15 days. During the period, a total of 24 teams of eight regions of the authority conducted the inspections.
At least 26 people were killed and around 100 others injured on March 28 this year as a deadly fire tore through 22-storey FR Tower in the capital's Banani. Although the buildings was given approval to build up to 15-storey, it was extended to 22-storey      violating rules.
After the incident, the RAJUK authority has launched the special drive to identify the illegal and faulty structures in the city and warned of taking legal actions against its owners.
According to an official of the Ministry of Housing and Public Works, the authority has inspected a total 1,818 buildings during the drive. Of those, owners of 431 buildings could not show legal and valid documents during the inspections while other 1,136 owners have shown valid papers.
Of the total inspected buildings, the owners of 951 structures have changed the approved designs of their structures violating the rules.
After the inspection, Minister SM Rezaul Karim at a press conference held at his Ministry on May 22 had disclosed the inspection reports in detail and assured journalists of taking punitive measures against the violators and the officials.
However, no one of the building owners were sued yet after five months of the Minister's commitment while no government official was punished.
Instead, breaching the Minister's commitment to start further inspection of buildings in Dhaka, the RAJUK officials are remaining silent on the issue. Taking the advantage of flexibility, hundreds of buildings are now being built violating the designs and rules of RAJUK.
When contacted, Minister Rezaul Karim told this correspondent recently at his office that it is really hard for the authority to conduct such a massive inspection with huge shortage of manpower in the RAJUK.
At present, RAJUK is enforcing the building construction law and development plan over its vast 1,528-square kilometre jurisdiction from Dhaka city, Keraniganj, Badda, Tongi, Savar and Gazipur areas with its 1,500 manpower. Of the approved manpower, 150 posts remain vacant for years.
"Although the area of RAJUK increased, its manpower has not increased for years. We are trying to increase our manpower. A proposal has already been sent to increase the number. Once the approval is received, it would start recruiting additional manpower," he said, adding that after getting the new manpower, the RAJUK would be able to function properly.
Until then, RAJUK will be unable to enforce the law and handle all activities efficiently with such shortage of manpower, he added.

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