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Rajuk finds buildings around FR Tower are in violation of building codes

  • Published at 11:30 pm April 2nd, 2019
File photo: Fire Service working to douse the fire at FR Tower of Banani in Dhaka on Thursday, March 28, 2019 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Ahmed Tower, Safura Tower, Ataturk Tower, Erector’s House and AR Tower have been surveyed by Rajuk’s drive

The high rise commercial buildings next to the FR Tower have all been found to have violated either the safety code or building code, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) found on Tuesday during a drive.

Executive Magistrate of the drive, Deputy Secretary of Rajuk Mohammad Mamun Mia said all the buildings were found to have some form of irregularities. “Some had extra floors that were not in the building plan, some had generators kept in fire fighting equipment rooms, no fire exits, corridors occupied by offices, residential floors being used for commercial purposes,” he told reporters.

The drive received no coordination from the building owners and Rajuk’s deputy secretary was forced to pass an oral order to stop construction of buildings without plans approved by the organization.

Rajuk officials have halted expansion of the Ahmed Tower; located right next to FR Tower.

The capital development authority shut down the construction of more floors, of the building in Banani, as part of its drive against building code violations across the capital city.

Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Rajuk Deputy Secretary and Executive Magistrate Md Mamun Miah, said: “Floors 23 to 27 were being added to this building. However, those present at the site could not show us a building plan approved by Rajuk.

“They were uncooperative in presenting legal documents for this construction, so, we have halted the building expansion of this building under legal premises.”

Also Read- Probe team: FR Tower fire probably caused by electric short circuit

Rajuk’s drive was at Ahmed Tower, Safura Tower, Ataturk Tower, Erector’s House and AR Tower.

On March 28, a deadly fire broke out on the seventh floor of the high-rise FR Tower killing 25 people on the spot and injuring 70 more.

Later, a man succumbed to his injuries in the deadly fire on March 30, bringing the death toll to 26.

Following the incident, Rajuk began drives to find buildings that violate building codes and safety regulations.

Rajuk was looking for the date of plan approval, time of construction, names or engineers and architects of the buildings, use and purpose of the building, how tall the buildings are, civil aviation authorities approval, car parking, emergency exits, number of staircases, fire fighting equipment and false ceilings in buildings as well during the drive.

Deputy Secretary Mamun said: “If the owners are compliant with Rajuk’s recommendations then we will not be forced to demolish the extra floors that are unapproved. We will bring a mobile court if we have to.”

According to the official, Ahmed Tower just next to FR Tower, is 27 storied although it was a 23 storied previously. Rajuk found four additional stories being constructed on the top floor.

Also Read- FR Tower fire claims another life; case filed

The elevators for these floors have a different shaft than the rest of the building.

Another violation is Safura tower. The tower permitted up to 14 th floor according to the plan but the building is a 16-storeyed one. The plan shows an empty space which was not originally seen. There was no basement in the plan but there in a basement in the building. No sufficient space for parking.

Rajuk found the 13-storeyed Ataturk Tower using eight floors for residential purposes while they are only permitted to use the lower three floors as commercial space and 10 floors as residential space.

AR Tower was found to have no fire exit. Their staircases are narrower than specified in the building code and the corridors have been rented to other commercial enterprises.

Erector’s House was found to be noncompliance with the Bangladesh National Building Code. The plans were approved in 1996, which means they are obligated to keep five feet of space in front and back of the building.