BGMEA building 'illegal'

Dhaka's real estate regulator Rajuk has told the High Court that construction of the BGMEA headquarters had not been approved.

The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha's lawyer Md Mahfuzul Karim, in an affidavit, said the garment manufacturers and exporters association started to put up the building without Rajuk approval and without clarifying the matter with the regulator.

The affidavit was submitted at the bench of justice A H M Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Sheikh Mohammad Zakir Hossain on Tuesday.

It said BGMEA, the apex body of the readymade garment sector, was fined Tk 1.2 million for this violation. It was also asked to knock down the portion of the building that was not mentioned in the plan.

The affidavit said the association delayed razing the illegal portion citing shortage of necessary funds.

It said BGMEA leased out 0.66 acres from the Export Promotion Bureau on the condition that it would take approval from Rajuk before developing any multi-storey building.

Earlier the bureau had bought 6.12 acres land from Bangladesh Railway to build a world trade centre.

The affidavit said the Rajuk authorities had objected to erecting the building on a part of the land.

Meanwhile, the bench, during Tuesday's hearing in its ruling asked the government to explain why the BGMEA building should not be demolished and also asked deputy attorney general A B M Altaf Hossain to disclose who the owned the land.

Amicus Curiae (friends of court) former attorney general Fida M Kamal, Manjill Murshid and Syeda Rezwana Hasan took part in the hearing.

Rezwana Hasan said the very approval for constructing a building was not legal. "It (erecting the building) has violated some laws including the Environmental Convention Act."

Fida M Kamal said an association of private sector businessmen cannot legally develop a building on water-bodies.

On Oct 3 last year, the court asked the public works secretary, Rajuk, BGMEA president, Dhaka district administration and Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner to explain why this building should not be razed.

They had been asked to come up with their explanations within two weeks.

The order was issued after lawyer D H M Moniruddin presented a report on the building published in an English daily on Oct 3 last year.

Then prime minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the BGMEA building on Nov 28, 1998. On Oct 8 2006, then prime minister Khaleda Zia inaugurated the complex west of Sonargaon Hotel.

There are allegations that the garments exporters association has constructed the building grabbing lands of the Hatirjheel, where Rajuk is implementing a Tk 14.8 billion project.

News Source: 
The Financial Express