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RAJUK must take responsibility for failing to enforce building code

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BUILDING and fire safety conditions in all the 1,818 high rises under RAJUK's jurisdiction are not up-to-the-mark. Chairman of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha came up with the view on Saturday month after the devastating Banani FR Tower fire which killed at least 27 people and exposed the lack of fire safety in high-rises in the city's posh areas. The statement of RAJUK chief is not only an usual statement, rather an admission of corruption and compromise in building design and fire safety approvals. The RAJUK must be responsible for failing to enforce building code and fire safety by building owners. Why the people bear the brunt of the crimes committed by RAJUK by approving faulty design and the building owners' greediness?
Following the March 28 deadly FR Tower fire, Housing and Public Works Minister had directed RAJUK to launch an inspection on the safety status of the city's high rises. Therefore, 24 teams from RAJUK examined the buildings' construction plans and fire safety measures in a total of 1,528sqkm areas in the first two weeks of last month. The findings of the inspections are frightening where a few number of buildings follow the building code and approved design. The Minister even said if necessary, high-rises found to have been built in violation of approved plan, building code and fire safety provisions would be sealed off. But, we know, the reality is all are the violators and the owners of the high rises are too powerful.
After the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013, many garment factories went under retrofitting to strengthen the fire safety. The government should urgently retrofit high-rise buildings to ensure that no life perishes during a fire or an earthquake. We know money is enough to get approved any building designed by the RAJUK. Even the owners or builders ensure standard design following building and fire safety code have to pour huge money to get nod from RAJUK. So the moral ground of RAJUK in many cases is too vulnerable to impose the code. A comprehensive building safety should be effective for all.

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