Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has begun construction of its new headquarters at a plot allocated by the Rajuk in Uttara. It has already finished soil digging and piling but is yet to reveal when the construction will be finished. However, authorities assume it would not be possible to finish the work within one and a half years.
Construction of two 15-storey buildings is underway on around 0.34 hectares of land on the lakeside road of the 6th Avenue of Sector 17 in Uttara. Labourers are working round the clock and on holidays.
Housing and Public Works Secretary Md Shahid Ullah Khandakar said: “We have allotted BGMEA a plot in Uttara for constructing its building. They also got approval of the building design.”
“The construction of the BGMEA building is underway. It has already finished piling. We have asked the organization to expedite work,” Rajdhani Unnayan Katripakkha (Rajuk) Uttara Zone Deputy Director Mamun said.
Project officials said those who purchased floors in the existing building would be allotted floors in the new building as well. Most of the floor owners except for three are BGMEA members.
Also Read - BGMEA seeks one more year to demolish its building
Once completed, the building along with the land would cost around Tk400 crore. However, the BGMEA has not fixed the construction cost of the new building. Engineers assume the cost will be much higher.
The Supreme Court in its latest order in October of last year asked BGMEA authorities to demolish the current 15-storey building located in Hatirjheel by May of this year. Meanwhile, on March 5, the apex body of garment owners filed an appeal to the court seeking one more year in this regard.
BGMEA lawyers said Rajuk allotted the land for the building but the processing of many other things is underway which is why they sought one more year.
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Construction workers at the site of new BGMEA headquarters Bangla Tribune
In 2010, the High Court issued a verdict saying the building was illegal as it was constructed in violation of laws protecting the country's wetlands.
In 2016, the Supreme Court upheld the verdict ordering the demolition of the building when the BGMEA appealed against it. Since then BGMEA has appealed for more time to move the office.
Project officials say there are doubts whether it would be possible to build the new office even after the court gave the BGMEA one more year. They think it would be impossible to finish construction of two buildings between a year and one and a half years.
BGMEA Deputy Secretary (civil engineer) Md Rajibul Islam Khan said: “We are working very fast. The labourers are working even on holidays. We cannot say right away when the work will be finished. We are working at the instruction of the BGMEA.”
On whether the construction would be over in one and a half years, he said: “That cannot be confirmed.”
However, those related to the construction work said it would be quite difficult to finish the work between a year and one and a half years and hand it over to the authorities.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com