Shariful Islam, a dealer from Mirpur in Dhaka, was joyful to have a five-katha plot allotted in Purbachal New City Undertaking for Tk11 lakh in a lottery by the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) in 1996.
However his happiness didn’t final lengthy. When he went to get his plot registered, he got here to know that the identical land was allotted to a different particular person. He utilized to Rajuk to rectify the error, however the authorities did not resolve the difficulty in eight years.
Disgruntled, Shariful then moved the Excessive Court docket to discover a treatment. However his wait isn’t over but because the writ petition he filed in 2004 searching for possession of the Rajuk plot has not been disposed of in practically 18 years.
“I needed to go to the courtroom greater than 100 instances prior to now 17 years and needed to spend no less than Tk6 lakh. Individuals have already began constructing homes in different plots round mine in Sector-2 of the Purbachal venture,” Shariful advised The Enterprise Normal.
Authorities worker Moslem Uddin, the opposite one that was allotted the identical plot after paying the identical amount of cash, additionally expressed frustration over the delay in resolving the difficulty.
One plot, many allottees
Like this case, every of some 577 plots within the Purbachal New City Undertaking within the outskirts of the capital have been allotted to multiple particular person.
As a result of the affected folks didn’t discover a answer from the Rajuk authorities, they selected the courtroom because the final resort for treatment.
In accordance with sources, round 1,500 lawsuits have been filed towards Rajuk over totally different points regarding the Purbachal venture that was initiated in 1995 to assemble about 26,000 plots and 60,000 flats, and all the circumstances are pending within the courtroom.
Moreover those in Purbachal, 338 plots in Jhilmil Undertaking, 306 plots in Uttara Third Metropolis Undertaking, and 81 flats in Uttara Condo Undertaking have been allotted to multiple individual.
The sources advised TBS that round 8,700 circumstances filed towards Rajuk over numerous allegations of anomalies in several housing initiatives, which contain some Tk5,000 crore, are actually pending within the courtroom. Round 3,000 of those circumstances are over 10-year-old, whereas half of these had been filed greater than 15 years in the past.
About 7,000 of the circumstances are writ petitions pending within the Excessive Court docket. The remaining are pending in judicial courts.
Other than these circumstances, about 1,250 complaints had been nonetheless pending in Rajuk until December final yr, the sources stated, including a few of these complaints had been lodged 5-8 years in the past.
A lot of the circumstances have been filed over allegations of allotting plots violating the legislation, allotting a number of plots to a single individual, improper mapping and planning, and many others, the sources stated, including that many circumstances have additionally been filed searching for compensation for land acquisition, and for making correct roads, driveways and many others.
In distinction to a piling up of circumstances, the variety of circumstances disposed of yearly has remained very insignificant.
Sources stated solely 81 writ petitions had been disposed of in 2021, whereas the quantity was 112 and 208 within the earlier two years, respectively.
Barrister Shahriar Kabir, lawyer for eight such writ petitioners, stated, “The Excessive Court docket has ordered stopping plot allotment in several sectors of varied Rajuk initiatives in a number of circumstances. If these petitions will not be settled, these initiatives won’t go forward correctly.”
Pace cash guidelines
City planner Adil Muhammad Khan advised TBS, “Rajuk is an organisation run by the Ministry of Housing and Public Works. Its job is to serve the folks. However those that are accountable for numerous departments don’t do any work with out extra cash. Its grievance part can be ineffective. That’s the reason individuals are submitting so many circumstances.”
Other than anomalies in plot allotment in numerous housing initiatives, reported irregularities in approving designs for the development of buildings in numerous areas of the capital are additionally inflicting increasingly aggrieved folks to maneuver the courtroom towards Rajuk.
Some 1,100 writ petitions filed on this connection are at present pending within the Excessive Court docket, courtroom sources stated.
One Rezaus Samad submitted a design to Rajuk in April 2019 for the development of a six-storey constructing on a six-katha plot within the Madhya Badda space of the capital.
“Though the design was ready and submitted as per the constructing building guidelines, it was not authorized by Rajuk officers. They stated they’d not approve it until I paid them extra cash,” he stated.
City Planner Iqbal Habib stated, “Bribery in design approval is an open secret. If the Rajuk department involved might be happy, you may get approval for even an unlawful design.”
“There are anomalies in different points too. Many individuals haven’t obtained correct compensation for land acquisition,” he stated.
In accordance with sources, there are about 80 writ petitions towards Rajuk relating to land acquisition.
What’s the best way out?
City Planner Md Salauddin advised making a Planning Inspectorate like in lots of developed international locations together with the UK to unravel these kinds of circumstances.
To elucidate this, he stated, “It’s a type of courtroom however not just like the judicial courtroom. The distinction is that right here the judges are skilled planning inspectors who’re chosen by the federal government. Right here any attraction needs to be resolved inside a specified time.”
“Within the context of Bangladesh, its construction could also be totally different, however this organisation can deliver all improvement companies and municipal planning cells underneath one umbrella,” he added.
Architect Mobasher Hossain stated Rajuk ought to take into consideration how you can resolve outdated circumstances rapidly. “If needed, it may well apply to the chief justice for the disposal of those circumstances in a specified bench of the Excessive Court docket inside a stipulated time.”
He stated, “Not solely are the litigants being harassed and spending cash in these circumstances, however Rajuk is also spending public cash to deal with these circumstances. All this cash is being wasted because of the negligence of Rajuk.”
ABM Amin Ullah Noori, chairman of Rajuk, stated there’s a department of Rajuk and a panel of legal professionals to supervise these circumstances.
“A lot of the circumstances towards Rajuk contain a number of different authorities companies and departments. There are additionally many individuals as defendants. Because of this, there’s a little downside in settling these lawsuits. Nevertheless, steps have already been taken to settle these circumstances expeditiously,” he stated.
“A call has additionally been taken on how you can settle these circumstances rapidly with the assistance of the Legal professional Normal’s Workplace,” added the Rajuk chairman.