90pc high rise buildings in city lack environmental clearanceAhammad Foyez
Over 90 per cent high-rise buildings were erected in the capital city and the adjoining areas without caring to take mandatory clearance from the Department of Environment, said DoE officials.
Owners took environmental clearance before constructing 1,256 high-rise buildings from 1997 to 2013, they said.
During the same period, they said, the owners took environmental clearance for 10 high-rise buildings on completion of construction.
And the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha gave approval for the construction of at least 11,807 high rise buildings from 2009 to 2012, they said.
Rajuk and the DoE blamed each other for the lapses.
Rajuk member for planning Sheikh Abdul Mannan told New Age that Rajuk gave approval after scrutiny of all the requirements including environmental clearance.
‘We could do nothing if the DoE officials issued fake certificates through illegal dealing,’ he added.
He asked why the DoE took no action against the non-compliant building owners?
He said some Rajuk officials could be involved with flawed approvals.
Action from the DoE could resolve the problem, he said.
DoE director for Dhaka zone Abul Mansur said the role of Rajuk became questionable.
He said he did not understand how or why Rajuk gave approval without environmental clearance from DoE.
He said that DoE mobile court drives against unauthorized buildings were on.
He also said personnel shortage makes the task difficult for the DoE.
He blamed a section of Rajuk officials for the irregularities.
The environment conservation law makes obtaining environmental clearance mandatory for high-rise building construction.
The Rajuk also gave approval for the construction of high rise buildings
without caring to ascertain whether the owners took clearance from the fire service, said a Rajuk official.
According to the Rajuk about 95 per cent of more than 11,000 high rise buildings were constructed in the city and other areas under it from 2009 to 2012 without clearance from the fire service.
The Fire Service and Civil Defence Act prohibits the construction of six-storied or higher buildings without clearance from the fire service.
An Anti-Corruption Commission team is probing into allegations of irregularities and corruption facing Rajuk, said ACC officials.
The ACC probe team filed some cases against Rajuk officials for their alleged involvement in corruption, they said.
The ACC probe found a section of Rajuk officials involved in irregularities including discouraging land owners from obtaining clearance from the fire service and the DoE, they said.
They arrange approval for the construction of high rise buildings in lieu of money, said the ACC officials.
The owners who obtained approvals for their buildings through this racket are in the dark about the authenticity of their plan documents, they said.
The ACC has requested the DoE to provide it with a list of buildings constructed from 2009 and 2012 with environmental clearance, they said.
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