RAJUK is planning to go hard against illegal structures

RAJUK is planning to go hard against illegal structures

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Dhaka-On the wake of the recent terrorist attack in Gulshan, Rajdhani Unnayan Kortipokkho (Rajuk) is planning to go hard against the illegal commercial establishments across the capital operating inside the residential area without proper permission.Rajuk specifically focuses on Gulshan-Baridhara and Banani-popularly knows as the tri-state area of the capital where a lion share of the illegal commercial establishments is located.
The capital’s development regulator has already made a list of 830 illegal commercial establishments inside the tri-state area out of which the name of 77 renowned restaurants, hotels and bars from those areas came up.
Even inside the diplomatic zone of Baridhara and Gulshan-2, there are 32 illegal commercial establishments, sources with the Rajuk said. The name of Holey Artisan Restaurants, where the terrorist attack took place is also in that list.
Aside from these 830 establishments in the tri-state area, in the complete lists, Rajuk has identified a total 6,056 illegal commercial establishments across the capital. Out of these, 715 are under Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and 5,341 are under Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC).
Rajuk has already started sending letters to the utility service providers including gas, electricity and water authorities to cut off the connections in those illegal commercial establishments.
During a high level meeting held on Sunday at the secretariat office, Engr Mosharrof Hossain, Minister of Housing and Public Works Ministry ordered the ministry, Rajuk, city corporations and other authorities concerned to take harsh action against the those establishments.
An official present in that meeting told The Independent that the minister strictly ordered all the officials to take actions immediately without any sort of dilly-dallying.
Rajuk Chairman M Bazlul Karim Chowdhury said that all the commercial establishments from the residential areas will not be an easy task. “All the government entities will work in coherence to do that,” he said.
Chowdhury said that from Rajuk, they have already sent letters to different utility services to cut off the utility services to the establishments upon their failure to shift from the residential areas.
“It was earlier decided in a cabinet meeting in April this year. The meeting which took place on Sunday was a follow-up meeting of that April meeting. We decided to go on hard line now.”
Sirajul Islam, Director of Town Planning of Rajuk said that the conversion from residential to commercial has occurred with the government’s high-level decision from time to time.
As the single commercial area of Motijheel cannot accommodate rising business activities of the expanding capital city, commercial establishments are gradually making their way into residential areas.
Since demolishing all commercial setups built over the years was practically impossible, the government gave those residential areas ‘residential-commercial’ status, he said adding that in many cases, the decision was taken at government’s policy level and the matter was not even placed at Rajuk’s planning section.
Talking with The Independent, Barrister Omar Sadat, Secretary General of Gulshan Society said many people in Gulshan area are violating the norms of a residential zone. “They took the plot for living there, but later started running guesthouses or other businesses,” he said
He said that government and private offices, community centres, rest houses, hospitals and clinics, English medium schools and boutiques are seen all over Gulshan.
”Huge traffic loads due to commercial set-ups and business entoties have made life miserable in this area,” he said.
FM Alauddin Mahmud, Secretary General of Federation of Hotels, Guest House and Restaurant Owners Association said that many cities across the world have commercial establishments inside the residential area.
“Those are established to facilitate the lifestyle of the people living inside those areas. I don’t understand what sort of security risks is these establishments are posing. Many establishments have already got the notice. We will relocate the establishments”.-STAFF REPORTER

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