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POST TIME: 8 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Removal of illegal establishments

Removal of illegal 
establishments

Bangladesh Railway authorities (West) in a drive removed around 500 illegal establishments in Station Bazar and Chamrapotti area of Sirajganj town recently. A container terminal would be built on the free land in the coming days. In fact, establishments have been constructed illegally in the different places in the country including the capital city in recent times. A section of influential people have also constructed establishments by encroaching government lands. The owners of these establishments hardly cared to follow the rules set by the competent authorities. The relevant authorities take action against the errant builders once in a blue moon thus emboldening the encroachers. It raises questions among owners of neighbouring buildings and residents as to how illegal construction was going on under the very nose of the relevant authorities.           

It is clear as the daylight that the buildings constructed in illegal ways without following the Building Code may collapse any time taking a huge toll of lives. Unholy nexus between some influential people and unscrupulous officials in those particular areas are contributing to mushrooming of unauthorised establishments. Successive governments have failed to check this malpractice which has assumed a formidable threat to safety and security of life.   The collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar that claimed more than 1100 lives speaks volumes of the vulnerability of the buildings constructed in illegal ways. Despite these tragedies good sense is yet to prevail on the builders for whom amassing wealth comes first and humanity takes a back seat.  

Experts are warnings that the capital city Dhaka is situated in an earthquake-prone zone and a tremor measuring 7 in the Richter scale may wreak havoc with the skylines. But who cares? Even the High Court directive to the Rajuk several times to submit a list of risky buildings before it was not heeded.  It is the responsibility of the relevant authorities to identify the establishments and buildings constructed illegally. It is time for the authorities concerned to rein in the irresponsible builders in the interest of public safety. There is no room foot-dragging. Authorities concerned should ensure that not a single building would be constructed without following the Building Code to evade a tragedy like Rana Plaza collapse.