The Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) is constructing a 12-storey commercial building at the entrance of Nazimuddin Road in Old Dhaka, allegedly without prior approval of the city development authority.
DSCC is also not following the Building Construction Rules 2006 in constructing the structure at Chankharpool crossing under Lalbag mouza. At present, the piling work of the building is going on.
Besides, the organisation has not complied with the proposal to expand the existing 19 feet road in front of the building to a 60 feet one, as mentioned in the Detailed Area Plan (DAP) 2010-15.
Following all these violation of rules, the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) has recently issued a letter to the DSCC chief executive officer (CEO), asking the entity to construct the building after leaving 20 feet road space.
But there are two different opinions regarding the permission of constructing any structure within the city corporation area.
Citing the Local Government (City Corporation) Act 2009, the city corporation authority claimed that as an autonomous body it does not need Rajuk's permission to construct any structure on its own land.
Experts, however, differed with the opinion. Referring to the Town Improvement (TI) Act 1953, they said every organisation or individual must take Rajuk's permission to build any structure in the city development authority's area, and must follow all the required procedures.
When contacted, Rajuk authorised officer Nuruzzaman Hossain told the FE that it is not known to him that DSCC is constructing such a building.
He also said the chief engineer of the city corporation is the authorised officer who can approve design and permit a building.
When asked whether Rajuk is going to take any action as it is now informed of the irregularities, Mr Nuruzzaman said he has to ask permission in this regard from the high-ups concerned, as DSCC is also a government agency.
Talking to the FE, DSCC CEO Mostafizur Rahman said the city corporation is an autonomous body, which does not need Rajuk's permission to construct any building on its own land.
"We have the authority to design and approve our own buildings. There is a committee, headed by the chief engineer, which approves the designs."
Regarding leaving space for road widening as per the DAP, he said the road belongs to DSCC, and is also maintained by it. So the city corporation best knows what to do with the road.
"We are aware of the DAP proposal, and will consider it when required," he added.
The statement of the CEO, however, surprised the experts.
Adil Mohammad Khan, General Secretary of the Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP), said it is shocking that DSCC does not care about the laws of the land.
It is doubtful whether the city corporation properly knows about the laws and rules, he added.
Mr Adil also came down heavily on Rajuk. The city development authority cannot avoid its responsibility in this case, as it has said nothing about the building's permission, he noted.
"DSCC has not taken permission as per the TI Act 1953, where it is mentioned that anyone willing to construct a building in Rajuk area must take permission of the city developer."
DSCC also violated the Building Construction Rules 2008, and has not taken the land use clearance from Rajuk, said the planner.
When the government is rigorously trying to eradicate all kinds of irregularities in building construction, the attitude of DSCC is very shocking, he added.
"This type of statement from a responsible person (the DSCC CEO) is very disappointing. If the city corporation authority does not abide by the laws, it cannot expect the citizens to abide by the rules."
He suggested that Rajuk must take necessary actions to make the people along with the government organisations follow every step in building construction as per the rules.
Experts said anyone willing to construct structure on a small residential plot must leave at least 35 per cent space. But the area will be higher, if the size of the plot is bigger, and it will be the highest in case of commercial plots.
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