Shariful Islam, a dealer from Mirpur in Dhaka, was glad 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 Courtroom to discover a treatment. However his wait isn’t over but because the writ petition he filed in 2004 in search of possession of the Rajuk plot has not been disposed of in almost 18 years.
“I needed to go to the court docket greater than 100 occasions prior to now 17 years and needed to spend not less than Tk6 lakh. Individuals have already began constructing homes in different plots round mine in Sector-2 of the Purbachal undertaking,” Shariful instructed The Enterprise Normal.
Authorities worker Moslem Uddin, the opposite one that was allotted the identical plot after paying the identical sum of money, 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 a couple of particular person.
As a result of the affected folks didn’t discover a resolution from the Rajuk authorities, they selected the court docket because the final resort for treatment.
Based on sources, round 1,500 lawsuits have been filed towards Rajuk over totally different points regarding the Purbachal undertaking that was initiated in 1995 to assemble about 26,000 plots and 60,000 flats, and the entire circumstances are pending within the court docket.
Apart from those in Purbachal, 338 plots in Jhilmil Undertaking, 306 plots in Uttara Third Metropolis Undertaking, and 81 residences in Uttara Residence Undertaking have been allotted to a couple of particular person.
The sources instructed TBS that round 8,700 circumstances filed towards Rajuk over numerous allegations of anomalies in several housing initiatives, which contain some Tk5,000 crore, at the moment are pending within the court docket. 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 Courtroom. The remaining are pending in judicial courts.
Aside from these circumstances, about 1,250 complaints had been nonetheless pending in Rajuk until December final yr, the sources mentioned, 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 particular person, mistaken mapping and planning, and so forth, the sources mentioned, including that many circumstances have additionally been filed in search of compensation for land acquisition, and for making correct roads, driveways and so forth.
In distinction to a piling up of circumstances, the variety of circumstances disposed of yearly has remained very insignificant.
Sources mentioned 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, mentioned, “The Excessive Courtroom has ordered stopping plot allotment in several sectors of varied Rajuk initiatives in a number of circumstances. If these petitions should not settled, these initiatives won’t go forward correctly.”
Velocity cash guidelines
City planner Adil Muhammad Khan instructed 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 more money. Its criticism part can be ineffective. That’s the reason individuals are submitting so many circumstances.”
Aside from 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 court docket towards Rajuk.
Some 1,100 writ petitions filed on this connection are presently pending within the Excessive Courtroom, court docket sources mentioned.
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.
“Regardless that the design was ready and submitted as per the constructing building guidelines, it was not permitted by Rajuk officers. They mentioned they’d not approve it except I paid them more money,” he mentioned.
City Planner Iqbal Habib mentioned, “Bribery in design approval is an open secret. If the Rajuk department involved may be happy, you will 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 mentioned.
Based on sources, there are about 80 writ petitions towards Rajuk concerning land acquisition.
What’s the best way out?
City Planner Md Salauddin recommended making a Planning Inspectorate like in lots of developed nations together with the UK to unravel these kinds of circumstances.
To elucidate this, he mentioned, “It’s a type of court docket however not just like the judicial court docket. The distinction is that right here the judges are skilled planning inspectors who’re chosen by the federal government. Right here any attraction must be resolved inside a specified time.”
“Within the context of Bangladesh, its construction could also be totally different, however this organisation can convey all growth companies and municipal planning cells underneath one umbrella,” he added.
Architect Mobasher Hossain mentioned Rajuk ought to take into consideration easy methods to resolve previous circumstances shortly. “If essential, it may apply to the chief justice for the disposal of those circumstances in a specified bench of the Excessive Courtroom inside a stipulated time.”
He mentioned, “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 as a result of negligence of Rajuk.”
ABM Amin Ullah Noori, chairman of Rajuk, mentioned 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. In consequence, there’s a little drawback in settling these lawsuits. Nonetheless, steps have already been taken to settle these circumstances expeditiously,” he mentioned.
“A choice has additionally been taken on easy methods to settle these circumstances shortly with the assistance of the Legal professional Basic’s Workplace,” added the Rajuk chairman.