Inability of RAJUK and Housing Ministry
RAJDHANI Unnayan Kartripakkha and the Ministry concerned could not avert their responsibilities for repeated incidents of tragic deaths and loss of properties in fire and building collapse in the first half of this year. The Ministry of Housing and Public Works is well aware of irregularities and corruption on the part of RAJUK regarding implementation of building laws and master plan as a part of its routine regulatory business.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee which is supposed to regularly scrutinise the decisions, actions and performance of the Ministry and its auxiliary bodies like RAJUK is also reluctant in making the organisations accountable. The Ministry recently required RAJUK inspectors and authorised officers to provide information on illegal buildings, building deviations and buildings under construction and what actions RAJUK has taken against errant building owners. The ongoing building inspection found 71 percent of 3,897 buildings in eight RAJUK zones have deviated from the approved plans.
On an average, 150 building deviations are detected every month. It is really most dissatisfactory that despite recurrence of fire in skyscrapers and faulty design, RAJUK has been going scot-free for decades. There are hundreds of examples of gross building anomalies like FR Tower and all of those have not been placed to the Ministry. RAJUK often plays to hide-and-seek game in many cases. They do not take action despite knowing an anomaly; they suppressed the FR Tower irregularity since 2007.
Within RAJUK's routine regulatory role, over 100 building inspectors are responsible for regular inspection and they are tasked to prepare report on building deviation or anomaly to the authorised officers. The building construction law requires RAJUK to enforce the provision of building occupancy certificate after completion of a building. Without this certificate, water, electricity and gas authorities are not supposed to give connections to a new building. But RAJUK did not enforce the rule over the years.
Making the Ministry and RAJUK capable would limit the deadly building fire and man-made disaster in the city. Government should pay attention to this.