Friday, June 21, 2024

Oust land grabbers

Minister asks developers’ association, questions their sources of money, slates filling up of water bodies
State Minister for Housing Abdul Mannan Khan yesterday came down hard on land developers and realtors, and asked them to rid their associations of the land grabbers.
“You say you have invested over Tk 70,000 crore in the housing sector. Do you have any answer for people who’d like to know about the sources of your income?”
Mannan also wanted to know if the developers could say how much money they used to have 30 years ago.
“Don’t you feel shame when one calls you land grabbers?” he asked.
The state minister for housing and public works was addressing leaders of Bangladesh Land Developers Association (BLDA) and Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) at his ministry’s conference room.
At one stage of his 20-minute speech, citing newspaper reports he said Bashundhara Group has evaded tax worth around Tk 1,000 crore.
Showing newspaper clippings, he told the developers, “It’s you who accuse one another of land grabbing. Do you want to see more?”
He said Dhaka and surrounding areas are becoming unliveable. “You place attractive advertisements to sell land that is 20 feet under water. You are deceiving people who spend their life savings for a plot.”
He alleged that the land developers first buy small pieces of land in an area and then hang a nice name for a housing project there. After that, they start selling other peoples’ land along with the ones they have purchased.
Sometimes the developers and real estate agents themselves create obstacles to their projects by submitting designs without papers of land registration, Mannan continued.
All housing schemes will be subject to verification under laws in efforts to curb irregularities in the sector.
The minister, however, assured the developers of approving their projects in 15 days if they fulfil all criteria and drive out land grabbers from their association.
“I’m not scared of anyone. No one will be spared, no matter how much clout he has,” he said in a warning against illegal practices.
Developer leaders including BLDA President and Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan alias Shah Alam kept silent as the state minister continued the barrage of flak.
The housing sector is an industry, but unfortunately many of those involved in it have opted to be land grabbers, Mannan observed.
He slammed the realtors for holding Rajuk and other government bodies responsible for every ill that plagues the sector. “It is your flawed projects that should be blamed,” he added.
“The government is well aware of the unplanned urbanization filling rivers, canals and wetlands. If the practice goes on, there won’t be a single bigha cultivable land after 60/70 years,” he noted.
“To get ourselves out of this terrible state, we have taken steps to expand the city. A detailed area plan is almost complete,” he said.
Besides, the government is not encouraging distributing plots. Instead, it is promoting high-rise buildings in four proposed satellite towns around the capital.
Earlier, Bashundhara Chairman Shah Alam demanded approval for the projects floated before the land development rules for private housing project were framed in 2004.
He claimed his business has made some 30-40 thousand people multi-millionaires.
Shah Alam also said the 1/11 government had failed due to non-cooperation by businessmen.
In response, Mannan said, “Maybe it’s true to some extent. But we can also conclude that some profit-hungry businessmen had welcomed 1/11 changeover to realise their high ambitions.”
REHAB President Tanvirul Haque Probal urged the government to revise the land development rules so that it gets easier for housing projects to get approval.
He said, “Rajuk is not giving permission for buildings over 10 storeys for the last one and a half months. But we don’t know the reason.”
Mannan said a sub-committee is working on the matter and will submit a report soon. Things will be okay after that.
In his written speech, BLDA senior vice-president Enamul Haque said the government is earning more than Tk 1,200 crore from the sector.
The sector has around 29 lakh engineers, architects, experts and workers employed in it. Indirectly, around 1.5 crore people depend on the housing industry, he added.
Referring to an opinion poll conducted by Bangla daily Prothom Alo, Mannan said about 86 percent of the respondents have voted in favour of boycotting the land grabbers socially.
The developers assured the state minister of expelling the grabbers from their associations.

Curtesy of The Daily Star

Related News

Over 1.04 crore animals sacrificed on Eid-ul-Adha this year

News Desk : A total of 1,04,08,918 animals were sacrificed across the country on the occasion of the holy Eid-ul-Azha this year. As many as 3, 67, 106 more animals were slaughtered this year compared to previous year, the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock said in a press release on Tuesday. This year the ... Read more

9am-5pm office time to resume from Wednesday

News Desk : The public offices across Bangladesh are set to go back to old office timing from 9:00am to 5:00pm with Fridays and Saturdays being the weekly holidays as usual from Wednesday. The cabinet in its weekly meeting on June 3 decided restoring the old office timing between 9:00am and 5:00pm on weekdays ... Read more

5 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Bangladesh

News Desk : A magnitude 5 earthquake jolted a large part of the country on Sunday (2 June) afternoon., including Dhaka. The quake struck at 2:44pm from a depth of about 110km, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, and was centred in the Mawlaik area of Myanmar, 441 km southeast of Dhaka. The quake ... Read more

Over 2cr to be fed as daylong Vitamin ‘A’ plus campaign begins

News Desk : The National Vitamin A-plus campaign is being conducted with a target to feed the capsules to over 2.22 crore children, aged between six months and 59 months. The campaign started at 8am on Saturday (June 1) and will continue till 4pm. Feeding Vitamin A capsules prevents blindness in children, ensures normal ... Read more

Postponed notice fake, HSC exams on June 30 as per schedule

News Desk : The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent exams will be held on time as per previous announcement, beginning on 30 June. The routine deferring the exams for a month that is making rounds in social media, is fake, the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Dhaka said on Saturday. A circular ... Read more

3 month-long ban on fishing, tourism in Sundarbans begins

News Desk : The forest department has imposed this three-month ban on fishing and tourism in the Sundarbans. Local communities, including fishermen, wood and honey collectors, who depend on the Sundarbans for their livelihoods, are concerned about a three-month ban on all activities in the forest starting Saturday. The restriction applies to visitors, including ... Read more

Appellate Division upholds HC verdict on DU teacher Samia’s demotion

News Desk : The Appellate Division today (26 May) upheld the judgement of the High Court which declared illegal the demotion order of Dhaka University faculty Samia Rahman on charges of plagiarism. A four-member appellate bench headed by senior judge M Enayetur Rahim of the Appellate Division rejected the appeal of DU as invalid. ... Read more

3.2 million children at risk as Cyclone Remal hits Bangladesh coasts: UNICEF

News Desk : As Cyclone Remal hit the coastal areas of Bangladesh, over 8.4 million people, including 3.2 million children, are at high health, nutrition, sanitation, and safety risks, according to UNICEF. ‘Our thoughts go out to the children and their families at this critical moment as they endure the storm’s impact,’ said UNICEF ... Read more

Classes suspended at coastal area schools due to cyclone

News Desk : No classes will be held at schools in the coastal areas due to Cyclone Remal, said State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Mohibur Rahman. He said this after a meeting of the inter-ministerial disaster management coordination committee at the Secretariat on Sunday. According to a bulletin of the Met Office, ... Read more

Cyclone Remal forms over Bay, signal 7 at Payra and Mongla

News Desk : The deep depression over the east and west central Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm “Remal” at around 9:00 pm today and is expected to hit the country’s coasts between 6pm and 11:59pm tomorrow, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD). The Met Office asked the Payra and Mongla ... Read more

Admissions for Class XI start tomorrow

News Desk : The first phase of applications for Class XI admission for the 2024–2025 academic year will begin tomorrow, May 26, and run through June 11th. According to the XI class admission circular 2024-25, the online application system is divided into three phases with designated application windows, result announcements, and confirmation periods. Students ... Read more

Exam will not be postponed for Cyclone Remal: NU

News Desk : The National University has decided not to postpone the Introduction to Government Policy exam for 4th-year Political Science honours students for the academic year 2022, despite the warning for the approaching Cyclone Remal. The exam is scheduled to be held on Sunday (26 May) at 1:00pm, the same day that the ... Read more

Gold price cut by Tk 1,084 per bhori

News Desk : The prices of gold in the country’s local market witnessed a fall on Thursday as the Bangladesh Jewellers’ Association (Bajus) slashed the price of 22-carat gold by Tk 1,084 per bhori (11.664 grammes). The new rate for the precious metal will come into effect on Friday, BAJUS said in a press ... Read more

Don’t pay anyone for visas, or work permits: Italian envoy

News Desk : Italian Ambassador to Bangladesh, Antonio Alessandro, advised visa-seekers not to pay anyone for visas, emphasising that the embassy only charges small taxes and processing fees. “Our services are free except for these official fees,” he said today (21 May) following a meeting with Shofiqur Rahman Choudhury, the State Minister for Expatriates’ ... Read more

Bangladeshi mountaineer Babar Ali conquers Everest

News Desk : Babar Ali from Chattogram has summited Mount Everest and raised the red and green flag on the world’s highest peak. He reached the summit at 8:30am local time (8:45am Bangladesh time) on Sunday, proudly raising the red and green flag of Bangladesh. He began his journey on 1 April, after necessary ... Read more

Price of gold increases by Tk1,178 per bhori

The new rate will be effective from Sunday (19 May) News Desk : The Bangladesh Jewellers Association (Bajus) today (18 May) increased the price of gold by Tk1,178 per bhori, followed by a price hike in the local bullion market. According to a Bajus statement, 22-carat gold will now cost Tk1,18,460 per bhori (11.664 ... Read more

9 Bangladeshis named in Forbes “30 Under 30 Asia” list

News Desk : Nine Bangladeshis have been named in Forbes “30 Under 30 Asia” list for their contributions across various industries. Forbes announced its prestigious “30 Under 30 Asia” list for the ninth consecutive year yesterday (15 May), showcasing 300 exceptional young individuals under the age of 30 who are making significant strides across ... Read more

SC Stays HC Verdict On Condemn Cell

News Desk : The Appellate Division on Wednesday stayed a High Court verdict that asked the jail authorities not to put death sentence inmates in the solidarity confinement before the end of all legal processes. The Appellate Division judge in chamber, Justice M Enayetur Rahim, granted the stay after hearing an appeal filed by ... Read more

BRTA to take ‘no helmet, no fuel’ policy for bikers

News Desk : Besides, no battery-run auto-rickshaws will be allowed to operate in Dhaka The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has decided to take a “no helmet, no fuel” approach for motorcycle riders across the country. Besides, no battery-run auto-rickshaws will be allowed to operate in Dhaka, according to decisions taken at a meeting ... Read more

MV Abdullah finally arrives at Ctg port

News Desk : The 23 crew members of Bangladeshi flag carrier MV Abdullah, which was recently freed from the captivity of Somali pirates, has reached the Chittagong Port today (14 May). The Chittagong Port Authority has a reception at the New Mooring Container Terminal (NCT) to welcome back the sailors. Their family members are ... Read more