PM says BGMEA building at Hatirjheel is a carbuncle. Why then do you think is the building still there?
THE Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association is one of the largest associations of readymade garment factory owners. Their main office building is encroaching upon a portion of Hatirjheel. Dhaka’s real estate regulator, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha, has told the High Court that the construction of the BGMEA headquarters was not approved. In April, the High Court declared that the construction of the BGMEA building is illegal and directed the authorities to demolish the building, giving the occupants 90 days to vacate and shift their belongings.
A speech by the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, remained the ‘talk’ for the week. She said the BGMEA building at Hatirjheel is a carbuncle. Now the question is why the building is still standing there. If the High Court has issued the order, why has the BGMEA building not been demolished yet? After all, the prime minister agrees that the building is a carbuncle and it is blemishing the beauty of Hatirjheel.
The building was constructed after filling up a portion of the lake, which caused its water-retention capacity to decrease and its normal flow to be hampered. Environmentalists claim that the high-rise is affecting the environment. They demand demolition of the BGMEA building.
Hatirjheel is the demand of modern Dhaka. And it has many more plans, yet to be implemented. But the BGMEA building is a carbuncle in Hatirjheel. So it should be demolished and relocated soon. Bangladesh has great prospects in the textile sector and we earn more than 80% foreign currency exporting the readymade garments. The association of the readymade garments owners should be an example to others. By doing wrong, they are misguiding others. They constructed an illegal building at Hatirjheel without permission from Rajuk. Now it should follow High Court orders of demolishing the buildings.
Rangs Bhaban was another carbuncle on Bijoy Sarani and when the government found that it was illegal, it was demolished. Though the owner of the building was powerful, the government took action and finally demolished Rangs Bhaban. So it is clear from this example that the government can do the right thing if they want to. But in Bangladesh, we see that good governance is absent most of the time. But why? All citizens have the same question. The authorities become deaf and dumb at times, they can’t answer the questions of the people.
The government should take the necessary steps to address the issue. Everybody wants the lake to be free from the unauthorized 15 storey building. We expect that since the prime minister has given her statement about the building, we will see the Hatirjheel lake area free from the building very soon.
If the government doesn’t keep its words, this will create a bad impact to people from all walks of life and it would not be prudent for the government to back away from taking the right steps. Personally I think the BGMEA building will be soon demolished just like Rangs Bhaban; and the lake will be safe soon and the real beauty of the lake will be revealed.
Bangladesh Textile University
I welcome our honourable prime minister’s comment that the BGMEA building at Hatirjheel is a carbuncle. The 32-acre Hatirjheel project, a recreation spot, is undoubtedly playing an integral role in making Dhaka a planned city. The most significant side of Rajuk planning is categorisation. Hatirjheel is categorised only for leisure and not for any other purposes. At the same time, the BGMEA building standing obstinately in Hatirjheel is a carbuncle for Rajuk city-categorisation planning too.
In order to upgrade the site’s leisure facilities, the authorities are willing to take stringent measures. At the same time, decisions regarding the merits and demerits of the building have to be taken into account.
Dhaka has the land available for constructing another BGMEA building but making another Hatirjheel is virtually impossible. The land covered by the building will enhance the splendour of Hatirjheel if it is allowed to integrate with the existing infrastructure.
The exterior of the building is covered by glass. This, as a result, radiates heat, warming up the intended cool atmosphere of Hatirjheel.
The sewerage and dump from BGMEA will pollute the lakewater and the movement of the dump trucks to and fro also hampers the natural beauty of the environment.
The plausibility of an international and domestic tourism platform is open for Hatirjheel. In recent times, a few international surveys regarding the living conditions of cities across the world has showed that Dhaka is one of the least liveable cities. This obviously has blemished Dhaka’s reputation abroad. In this context, the Hatirjheel initiative may be a good way to restore the city’s image internationally.
In conclusion, I want to chime in along with the prime minister’s comment that the presence of the BGMEA building at Hatirjheel is a symbol of disunion among us in the case of national interest.
Therefore, to show respect toward our unanimity and quell this disunion, the building must be demolished to complete the intended specialised recreation spot.
M Sulaiman Husain
Chakaria, Cox’s Bazar
WE, THE people of Bangladesh, are now acquainted with the term BGMEA, abbreviated form of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, due to a few recent incidents. Garment sector is an important source of revenue generation for our country’s economy. Garment sector to Bangladesh is like oil is to countries in the Middle East. So, the BGMEA is an important association of a significant sector in our country. But the drivers of this association are misusing their power. We all know that this association’s building is significant, but why does it have to be situated in the Hatirjheel area?
Hatirjheel has emerged as a popular place in the capital. Our government has managed to redesign the Hatirjheel beautifully and charm the residents with its magnificence. But this BGMEA building has become a thorn in roses. There are several cases against this building but the association is not paying any heed. Our prime minister also calls this building a carbuncle but she is afraid to do anything to have it removed, considering the growth of the garment and textile sector. Perhaps, she is concerned about what will happen to the sector if it disrupts the work of the association of garment owners. But the fact remains that there are legal issues and irregularities with the existence of the building in its current location. It is also a deterrent to the Hatirjheel project. The legal papers of this building are inconsistent. It’s as if people are captivated by the owners of the building including the prime minister.
Now, it is high time to move on. People are becoming more aware than ever. If we want to see our country developed, then why should we tolerate something illegal right in front of our eyes? It’s time to protest. The prime minister needs to realise that nothing will happen to the garment sector if this illegal building is demolished, which is the right thing to do. In the end, it is truth that always wins.
Bangladesh Textile University
IF YOU have power then you should utilise it in the right way. Rajuk has stated that the construction of the 16-storey BGMEA headquarters at Hatirjheel had not been approved by it. The High Court has given orders for demolishing the building but nothing has happened so far. This dates back to March 2011; now almost 2 years and 6 months have passed and yet no action had been taken to execute the High Court order.
The BGMEA itself has two major powers, first- the power of large support of people in country’s fastest growing industrial sector and second is employing political power.
The politicians of our country have changed the meaning of politics and ruling. If anybody wants to obtain political support, it is very easy in the context of our country. All they have to do is pull the right strings. Those who seek the political support have to speak in favour of the relevant politicians or their affiliated parties, endorse or support them and provide funds to the parties. Then these politicians will be in the pockets.
Few days ago, our prime minister stated ‘this building is a carbuncle’, indicating that her government wishes to demolish the building.
From my point of view, this could be just another political trick of Awami League government. This government has only two months left of its tenure. The remaining time is too short to execute the prime minister’s order. The prime minister presumed that through the speech, she will be able to gain people’s support by making them understand Awami League’s anti-corruption principles and concern about the atmosphere of Hatirjheel.
Still at the end of the day, it sounds very good that the prime minister has addressed this subject personally. We hope that action will be taken within a very short period of time under the supervision of her own government.
The prime minister has said that BGMEA Bhaban at Hatirjheel is a carbuncle. The discussion about whether or not BGMEA Bhaban is a carbuncle is a controversial discussion. There are people on both sides of the argument with strong feelings. However, I think that Hatirjheel project should be given the topmost priority for our developing country. It exists not only to reduce traffic jam, but also as a recreational spot for city dwellers. Hatirjheel project can be recognised as a success of this present government. But BGMEA Bhaban overshadows the beauty of Hatirjheel.
Bangladesh is moving above among countries in South Asia due to its flourishing economy. The country has a steady growth rate, a GDP of more than 6 for the last 3 years, which has resulted from the export of readymade garments. The BGMEA is the regulating authority of this sector. The BGMEA headquarter is situated in Hatirjheel. Currently, the RMG sector is facing a very tough time due to the Rana Plaza tragedy, fire on Tazreen Fashion House. The BGMEA should be playing a very strong role and make suitable policies to safeguard this sector. But, the BGMEA has no legitimate position to run their official activities in their current office at Hatirjheel. It is another example of breaking rules and regulations being patronised by the incumbent. One prime minister has laid the foundation stone of this controversial building and another prime minister of the country has inaugurated the BGMEA building. But according to regulations, there can be no such high-rises in the lake area of Hatirjheel. The court has pronounced its verdict against the BGMEA. For a long time, Rajuk has long been saying that the BGMEA building was not constructed following the approved plan and design. The High Court said that according to allegations, the building did not adhere to the city development law of 1953. In addition, there are also allegations that the garments factory owner’s headquarters violate the building construction law of 1952 because Dhaka’s real estate regulator Rajuk did not approve the present building design.
But the building has not yet been demolished as the BGMEA seems to have strong links with top bureaucrats and politicians of Bangladesh. But we are still hopeful that the right thing will be done as we have a good example such as the demolition of Rangs Bhaban due to violation of regulations. The BGMEA has enough funds for relocation and the existing structure should be taken down to make Hatirjheel project a success. The BGMEA should also make itself transparent and take legitimates step to lead the RMG sector of Bangladesh by shifting immediately without further delay.
Avit Kumar Saha
HATIRJHEEL project is a splendid example of collective response of people across the country. But unfortunately the project’s completion is yet to be realised as the BGMEA building is still standing there like a carbuncle.
When our government has taken the decision demolishing the building, its existence will propagate non-cooperation from the whole nation. The presence of the building will convey a message of disunion that will repudiate the image of Bangladesh in the world.
The BGMEA must need wastage, sewerage, drainage system facilities all of which will ultimately pollute the lake water. The pollution of lake water will perish the aquatic life.
The demand and the management system of the BGMEA building and Hatirjheel area is controversial to each other. As a result, a conflict between two different management policies in one area would interrupt the gradual upgrade of Hatirjheel park’s possibilities.
Hatirjheel should be confirmed as a reaction spot. We generally believe and recognise that we should cooperate with our government to run the country well. The BGMEA building’s existence is making the government appear weak and an opportunist. The building stands in violation of many construction laws and regulations. So considering all incongruities, I think that our honourable prime minister’s comment regarding the building is obviously right. Hence the building should not be given a chance to continue existing at the present location.
Humayun Noor Munna
BIAM Laboratory School, Cox’s Bazar