Time to streamline Rajuk
What the special team set up by the Anti-Corruption Commission to find out institutional corruption in Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha has so far found out appears well enough to prove Rajuk’s failure to live up to its duties at large. According to a New Age report on Saturday quoting a commission official, while the team earlier spotted 5,000 structures around the city that have been approved by certain Rajuk officials flouting the relevant rules including the one that restricts construction of any high rise without a road of at least eight feet and three inches width, apparently, in exchange for bribe, it has recently spotted 3,000 more such ‘irregularly approved’ buildings here. Moreover, the team also found a large number of high rises that have been raised even violating approved designs. Besides, it has also located 2,000 residential buildings so far in the city which are being used for commercial purposes, in breach of rules.
The revelations came at a time when, according to the latest study by the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit, the city has ranked the worst liveable city among 140 cities across the world which is also attributable to, among others, the haphazard manner in which the city has been developed over decades. Incidents in which multi-storey buildings collapse here mainly because of their faulty designs, coupled with the use of substandard materials in their construction, at least on more occasions than one, have hogged the headlines in recent years. As many buildings in the city, including its Old Town, are devoid of minimum safety measures and susceptible to fire or any other accident, fire fighters usually have to struggle to penetrate narrow alleys to conduct rescue operation, when necessary, there. What is, meanwhile, more unfortunate is that the city has become all the more so even though there have been laws such as the Building Construction Act 1952 and the National Building Code 2006. Experts are in unison to comment that if Rajuk, or its predecessor Dhaka Improvement Trust, had been serious enough about law enforcement, the scenario would have been otherwise.
The government needs to realise that with disasters such as earthquakes increasingly posing threat to the city, which studies suggest may leave huge disastrous effects, including loss of thousands of lives, here, time is indeed running out for addressing the woes mentioned earlier. While it immediately needs to streamline Rajuk, it is well advised to heed the recommendations the commission team made including a joint drive by Rajuk and the commission against errant buildings at the earliest.
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