Make RAJUK accountable for faulty buildings


IT is really disappointing that RAJDHANI Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) has been going scot-free for decades despite recurrence of fire in skyscrapers and faulty design. RAJUK and the Ministry concerned cannot shirk their responsibilities for repeated incidents of tragic deaths and loss of properties in fire and building collapse. 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, unfortunately, also appear to be reluctant in making these organisations accountable. The Ministry recently directed RAJUK inspectors and other authorised officers to provide information on illegal buildings, building deviations and buildings under construction and also 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 already deviated from the approved plans.
On an average, 150 building deviations are detected every month. There are hundreds of examples of gross building anomalies like FR Tower and all of those have not been placed to the Ministry. RAJUK officials often play hide-and-seek game in many cases. They do not take action despite knowing about 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.
So it is high time now that the Ministry and RAJUK take immediate steps to prevent the deadly building fire and man-made disaster in the city.