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Illegal High Rise On Bakalia Access Road

Inquiry report finds building owners, CDA officials liable

Published : Thursday, 17 September, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 99
Nurul Amin

CHATTOGRAM, Sept 16: A five-member investigation committee formed by the Chattogram Development Authority (CDA) on the construction of a ten-storied building on the Bakalia Access Road illegally have submitted its report on Wednesday.
The team headed by Nurullah Nuri, Chairman of the committee and Director of the Department of Environment (DOE) Chattogram Metro accompanied by other members submitted the report to the Secretary of CDA in the afternoon.
According to sources, the investigation committee held both the owners of the high rise building and the CDA officials responsible for the construction of the building on the alignment of the vital road.
The report mentioned that nine owners of the building have submitted a draft design of a building with fabricated and false information to the CDA authorisation committee for approval. But the CDA officials callously overlooked the design and approved it.
The report said, the CDA officials should have verified the design properly.
But they had neglected to check it thoroughly. 
Talking to the Daily Observer, Jahirul Alam Dobash, Chairman of CDA said that the Secretary of CDA received the report on his behalf.
He confirmed that the dispute would be resolved within this year.
CDA Chairman claimed that the roads on both sides of the building have already been completed.
"What remains to be done is just to demolish the building from the alignment of the road," Dobash said.
Nurullah Nuri was made Chairman of the committee on August 12 after the transfer of former Chairman Azadur Rahman Mallik. After taking charge, Nuri held two meetings on September 3 and 7 to finalise the report.
Earlier, the Chairman of CDA Jahirul Alam Dobash had constituted a five-member committee to probe into the approval of the high rise building built illegally on the Bakalia Access Road on October 25 last year.
The committee had been directed to submit the report within 15 working days after its formation on October 25 in 2019. But the committee had failed to submit the report. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the committee Azadur Rahman Mallik, former Director of the Department of Environmrent (DOE) Chattogram Metro has been transferred to the Water Resources Ministry as Joint Secretary.
Other four members are Md Ilyas Hussain Executive Engineer of CDA as member Secretary and Deputy Secretary of CDA Amal Guha, Executive engineer of CDA Shamim Ahmed and Executive Engineer of Roads and Highways Department Zulfiqar Ahmed.
Following the construction of the high rise building, the progress of the 1.5 kilometre long and 60 feet wide Bakalia Access Road has been obstructed.
The former Chairman of CDA, Abdus Salam, had approved a proposal to pay a compensation of Tk 10 crore to the owners of the building to expedite the works of the road project.
The CDA had directed the investigation committee to find out what led to the approval of such a high rise building on the alignment of a 60-feet wide access road by the concerned officials of the CDA. 
According to CDA sources, the ten storied building had been constructed in 2010.
But the Access road was marked in the 1995 Master Plan of the CDA.  The owners of the building had built the 10-storied building with all legal permission from the CDA in 2010.  But how the owners were able to get legal permission from the CDA?  The road is being implemented under the supervision of the CDA at an estimated cost of Tk 206 crore. But just in the middle of the 1.5 kilometre long and 60 feet wide road, the high rise building has created an obstacles for the project.  The road will connect Sirajuddowla Road with the Shah Amanat 3rd Karnaphuli Bridge through Bakalia.

The road was expected to be completed by June 2019.

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