Monday, July 15, 2024

Construction of city kitchen markets to miss 3rd deadline

The completion of the construction of three wholesale kitchen markets in the capital city, which started 7 years ago, is likely to be delayed for at least another year for lack of funds and disputes over land.
With Dhaka North City Corporation admitting that in June it will miss its third completion deadline, officials claim that another year is needed to complete the three new markets.‘We have already tendered a proposal to the ministry to extend the project tenure by another year,’ the project director, M Abdur Razzk, has told New Age.
In 2006, the last caretaker government initiated the project to relocate the wholesale traders from the Karwan Bazar to 1,782 shops at Mohakhali, Jatrabari and Aminbazar.
The Tk 33108 lakh project was also aimed to assist in the marketing and supplying agriculture products and ensuring that the products came to the consumers at a fair price.
A total of 360 shops were planned for Mohakhali, 895 for Jatrabari and 594 for Aminbazar kitchen markets.
Mahbub Alam, a project officer, said at Amin Bazaar the structural work of the two buildings on the east side of Beribadh had been completed, but the finishing work had still to be done.
The establishment of another building on the west side of the embankment is yet to start owing to a land dispute and a stay order of the High Court, Abdur Razzk, an engineer of the project, said.
The Jatrabari kitchen market will comprise six buildings. The structure of one four-storey building has been completed, with the others at different stages of construction. Work there has been halted for insufficient fund.
The construction of Mohakhali market is proceeding.
‘In line with the government’s decision, we were asked to complete the remaining work in building the market with our own fund by selling the positions of some shops. But it has not been possible for us to do this as a large amount of money is required,’ said Abdur Razzk.
Project officials have proposed that the government increases its allocation for the 2012-2013 fiscal year from Tk 12 crore to Tk 30 crore.
The officials said as the tender of some 11 of the 40 contracts had not been started, the cost had increased by up to 40 per cent. The total worth of the 11 tenders was Tk 72 crore, officials said.
If the government did not allocate more money to complete the market, the project officials would take over the responsibility of completing the projects with the completion of the Amin Bazaar and Mohakali markets given to the DNCC to complete and Jatrabari market given over to the Dhaka South City Corporation.
As the city corporations would have to use their own money, the project officials said the completion of the construction of the markets would then be uncertain.
The wholesalers of Karwan Bazar, however, appear content with the delays, saying that any relocation for them would hamper their businesses.
‘The city corporations could not allocate shops to all of us in the Mohakhali Kitchen market,’ said Hakim Mobarak Hossain, treasurer of Karwan Bazar Shop Owners’ Association, who added that the position of the Mohakali market was much better than the other two new markets.
He said Mohakhali Kitchen market’s position was still not suitable
for a kitchen market as there was only one entry for vehicles. ‘The Karwan Bazar Market has entry from all the sides which is necessary for unloading goods,’ he stated.
Those who have to move to Jatrabari or Aminbazar will seek compensation for the poor market’s position, Hossain added.
‘Several years we hear about shifting the markets. But we do not know when the work will be finished,’ M Monir Hossain, a wholesaler of Karwan Bawzar, said.
DNCC officials said the list of the businessmen who would be relocated had already been prepared by the project officer and the wholesalers’ society.

-With New Age input

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