Saturday, March 2, 2024

Govt making those legal

Illegal Housing Projects
Govt making those legal
The government has legalised two illegal private housing schemes and is going to okay at least four others to the destruction of natural wetlands and rural homesteads on the capital’s north-eastern fringe.
An inter-ministerial body led by the housing minister conditionally approved BDDL Natundhara and United City (Neptune Land Development) in early May following recommendations from Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk).
Other schemes awaiting partial approval soon are Bashundhara (East West Property Development), Ashiyan City and Swarnali Abashan.
All of these housing schemes are among the 77 projects declared illegal by the High Court in June last year.
The court had directed the government to take action against the schemes developed over the past decade by filling up low-lying wetlands, water bodies, rural homesteads and croplands.
A year before the HC directives, an expert body on Dhaka’s detailed area plan (DAP) recommended removal of BDDL Natundhara, Swarnali Abashan and United City, showing those to be on floodplains in Bhatara, Santarkul, Dumni and Sutibhola moujas.
In addition, two housing schemes — Aftabnagar of Eastern Housing and Green Model Town of Amin Mohammad Group — which were initiated years ago without the required permission are now in the pipeline for approval, official sources have said.
In November last year, the environment department fined Ashiyan for destroying wetlands, floodplains and local ecology through illegal earth-filling in Dakshinkhan mouja.
According to findings by the assistant commissioner (land) office, Ashiyan has filled up and changed the character of 230-acre low-lying wetlands, homesteads of the rural poor, and destroyed graveyards and cropland though the company owns only 43 acres.
A deputy director of Rajuk’s town planning section issued a notice in August last year asking Ashiyan Managing Director Nazrul Islam to stop illegal development of Ashiyan City and Ashiyan Shital Chhaya and their advertisements on television and newspapers.
An executive magistrate has found that Ashiyan has destroyed biodiversity and local ecology by filling up low-lying wetlands, including Ashkona-Kaola canal, croplands and rural homesteads, according to documents obtained by The Daily Star.
According to records, at least 33 affected locals have filed complaint with the environment department of Ashiyan’s earth-filling on their land.
Within Bashundhara housing area, there are 216-acre Court of Wards land and 18-acre Khas land, including river and canal, said Zanendra Nath Sarker, ADC (revenue) of Dhaka.
Also, a 44-decimal Court of Wards land and a 23-decimal Union Parishad land fall within Ashiyan City and a 20-decimal khas land within Swarnali Abashan.
Nurul Huda, chairman of Rajuk, said the organisation had made the recommendation, as the district administration, utility agencies and the environment department had given clearances.
Asked why they recommended approving illegal schemes, Huda said, “Bashundhara and some other schemes recently complied with the rules.”
“We cannot hold back approval after a developer obtains clearances from other agencies,” he said.
Sheikh Abdul Mannan, member (planning) of Rajuk board, said, “We initiated the approval process considering the sufferings of land owners under the unapproved housing schemes, as they cannot build structures.”
Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela), said Rajuk cannot play the same role as any other agency and approve housing projects taken up illegally.
“It should have challenged the clearances of other agencies because the developers have destroyed the character of the land and its use.
“The stance the government had taken earlier contradicts what it is doing now,” she added.
Prof Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, who led the DAP expert committee, said such schemes were not legally permissible as long as DAP was in place.
Prof Sarwar Jahan, who teaches urban and regional planning at Buet, said the government should have widened and inter-linked all the natural canals, lakes and other water bodies before allowing the development of urban residential zone on the eastern fringe.
Since the developers embarked illegally on real-estate development by destroying natural wetlands and floodplains years back, he said, who is going to prevent it if they continue with such destruction?
Abu Hasan Mortuza, Rajuk town planner, said all the aspiring developers would soon get approval and flood flow zone would be excluded if there was any in the proposed projects.
Bashundhara has submitted a revised layout of a 1,435-acre first-phase scheme in Baridhara (A-L blocks). However, it owns 1,213 acres only, as per documents at Rajuk and the deputy commissioner’s office.
Ashiyan City has placed a layout covering a 43-acre area.
Swarnali Abashan has ownership on 75 acres of land of its 760-acre project area, according to DC office records, while BDDL Natundhara owns 173 acres of its 360-acre proposed area.
Rules say a housing scheme has to leave one-third of an approved area for open space and amenities.

Courtesy of The Daily Star

Related News

Hajj registration extended till Jan 18

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The government, in a notice issued yesterday, extended the Hajj registration deadline for 2024 until January 18. It said aspiring Hajis would have to primarily deposit Tk 2.05 lakh, while the rest should be paid by February 29 for final registration. One has to pay Tk 5,78,840 under the general package, ... Read more

Dense fog disrupts communications across Bangladesh

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Cold and dense fog continued to disrupt life with road, air and waterways communication remaining suspended in the early hours of Tuesday as Bangladesh braces for this winter’s first cold wave likely to set in today. Authorities also confirmed until Tuesday the death of 14 people in cold-related diseases and road ... Read more

27,000 GPA 5 achievers not to get seat in public universities

Shahin Akhter Over 27,000 GPA 5 achievers in this year’s HSC and equivalent examinations cannot be admitted to the public universities due to fewer seats. A total of 92,595 examinees secured GPA 5 out of total 10,67,852 passed in the Higher Secondary Certificate examinations this year. But there are around 65,400 seats at the public ... Read more

Magnitude 5.5 earthquake jolts Dhaka, other parts of Bangladesh

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A magnitude 5.5 earthquake struck Bangladesh this morning, the United States Geological Survey said, with no immediate reports of damage. The earthquake jolted different parts of the country including Dhaka around in Ramganj of Cumilla at 9:35am, reports The Daily Star quoting Meteorologist Rubayet Kabir of Bangladesh Meteorological Department. The quake ... Read more

250cc Bajaj Pulsar N250 launched in Bangladesh

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Uttara Motors, the manufacturer and distributor of Bajaj motorcycles in Bangladesh, has recently launched The Pulsar N250 motorcycle. Pulsar N250 comes with a price tag of Tk339,999 and is available in three different colours. The motorcycle with a 250 cc oil-cooled engine has got dual channel antilock braking system (ABS). Indian ... Read more

HSC, equivalent exam results tomorrow

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The results of this year’s Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and its equivalent examinations will be published tomorrow. The copy of the results will be handed over to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina tomorrow morning. Later in the day, the results will be officially announced by Education Minister Dipu Moni at a press ... Read more

Gold hits record with a bhori of Tk 106,376

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The jewelry makers of the country has increased 22-carat gold price by Tk 1,750 today. Tomorrow, the price of 22-carat gold will reach a historic high of Tk 106,376 per bhori. The new price is 1.67 percent higher than the previous all-time high of Tk 104,626 per bhori (11.664 grammes) recorded ... Read more

Gold’s price reaches a new peak

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Gold price in the country has surged to a record Tk1.04 lakh per bhori due to a rise in the rates of pure gold in the local market. The price of the best quality gold or one bar of 22-carat (11.664 grams) gold has been increased by Tk 1,750 to Tk104,626 ... Read more

Bangladesh permits 375cc domestically produced motorcycles

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladesh government has allowed locally made motorcycles of up to 375cc along with the existing imported motorcycles of up to 165cc to facilitate the expansion of the local industrial sector. The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, under the road transport and bridges ministry, on Wednesday issued a circular in this regard. It ... Read more

Four-day tourism festival begins in Dhaka

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A four-day long festival to boost local tourism will be launched on September 27 in Dhaka to celebrate World Tourism Day 2023. The Bangladesh Tourism Board under the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism will organise the festival titled ‘Bangladesh Festival’ at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre. The festival will be ... Read more

Bangladesh Railway launches luggage vans with intercity trains

News Desk : dhakamirror.com To significantly increase the supply of perishable items, agricultural and other goods, Bangladesh Railway (BR) combined luggage vans with intercity trains on Sunday. The first van was combined with Sylhet bound intercity train “Joyantika Express”. Jayantika Express transported 4,600 kg of goods from Dhaka to Sylhet as Bangladesh Railway’s first intercity ... Read more

Bangabandhu Tunnel: Government sets toll ranging from Tk200 to Tk1,000

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The government has set toll rates for using the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel built under the Karnaphuli River in Chattogram, ranging from 200 Tk for cars to 1,000 Tk for 4-axle trailers, which is slated for inauguration in September. The Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges issued a circular in ... Read more

516 people died in road accidents in June

News Desk : dhakamirror.com At least 516 people were killed and 812 more injured in 559 road accidents in June this year, said a Road Safety Foundation report published on Wednesday. Of the accidents, involvement of motorcycles was the highest 37.03 per cent and the highest 32.75 per cent people were killed in the motorcycle ... Read more

SSC exams to be held on full syllabus in February next year

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent exams for 2024 will be held in the first week of February. It will be the first time the exams return to their traditional schedule after a four-year disruption caused by the pandemic. The exams will cover all subjects as per the full syllabus ... Read more

Eid-ul-Azha: BR to sell all advance tickets online from June 14

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladesh Railway will start selling advance train tickets from 14 June to tackle the home rush on the occasion of the upcoming Eid-ul-Adha. The authorities will start selling tickets from June 14 at two different time slots to reduce the load on its server. The West Zone will start selling tickets ... Read more

A lucky escape

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Mocha makes landfall in Myanmar, weakens; causes no serious damage in Bangladesh Cyclone Mocha veered towards Myanmar and eventually made landfall there a few hours earlier than forecast and it did not cause massive damage that many in Bangladesh feared. Around 13,500 houses were affected by the cyclone in Cox’s Bazar, ... Read more

Mocha starts crossing Cox’s Bazar coast, wind speed up to 215 kmph: BMD

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The very severe cyclone Mocha has started crossing Cox’s Bazar-north Myanmar coast and is likely to move north-northeasterly direction further and complete crossing Cox’s Bazar-North Myanmar coast near Sittwe of Myanmar by afternoon or evening on Sunday, according to the latest bulletin of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department on Sunday morning. The ... Read more

Mocha approaches coast with 200 kmph speed

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Cyclone Mocha is approaching the coastal areas of Bangladesh and Myanmar with a maximum wind speed of 200 kmph, said the latest weather bulletin of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department. According to the bulletin, at 6:00pm, the very severe cyclonic storm was centred about 605km south-southwest of Chattogram port, 525km south-southwest of ... Read more

Cyclone Mocha intensifies into ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’: IMD

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Mocha has intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm over east central Bay of Bengal and was 760km south southwest of Cox’s Bazar at 2:30am (local time) today, according to the Indian Met Department’s last update. It is moving north-northeastwards and likely to intensify further and cross Bangladesh and Myanmar coasts ... Read more

Bangladesh coastal areas are under danger signal number 8

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladesh is ready to evacuate about a million people in Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar as the very severe cyclonic storm over the east central Bay of Bengal looked ferocious with rapid intensification and is forecast to begin to have impacts on the south-east coast of the country from Saturday night. The ... Read more