A Rajuk team put a lock on the building’s gate, sealing it around 7:30pm on Tuesday
Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) has sealed off the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) building in Dhaka.
A Rajuk team put a lock on the building’s gate around 7:30pm on Tuesday.
ASM Raihanul Ferdous, chief engineer of Rajuk’s project and design department, confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.
Earlier in the day, around 70 policemen took position in front of the 15-storey building on Hatirjheel lake.
Khandakar Oliur Rahman, executive magistrate and also Rajuk director (Admin), told Dhaka Tribune that they have fully prepared to demolish the building.
He said since many other organizations are housed in the illegally built building, they were given till 5pm to evacuate.
However, as many organizations failed to remove their belongings from the building in due time, Rajuk gave them a final extension of two hours that ended at 7pm.
Rajuk also brought four bulldozers and a payloader to knock down the building in the morning.
Mohammad Nasir, BGMEA vice-president (Finance), told the Dhaka Tribune: “Rajuk should give more time to organizations to vacate the building as we ourselves took three days to remove our valuables.
“These organizations cannot remove their belongings in this short period of time.”
In April 2018, the Supreme Court ordered the BGMEA building be demolished. As per order, the building was to be demolished sometime after April 12 this year.
The 15-storey building stands on a crucial point in Dhaka, blocking water flow between Hatirjheel lake and Begunbari canal, and has been described by the Supreme Court as “a cancer in the Hatirjheel project.”
The High Court first ordered the BGMEA to move forward with demolition work on April 3, 2011. The association filed a leave to appeal against the verdict which was later dismissed by the court.
In June 2016, the Appellate Division upheld the High Court verdict ordering the demolition of the structure, with the BGMEA to bear the cost of demolition.
On March 5, 2017, the Appellate Division rejected the review petition for the verdict for the demolition project.
Later, the association sought a year’s extension to the latest deadline to demolish the building.
Following the plea, the Supreme Court, in April 2018, granted BGMEA one more year to tear down its complex.
At the time, the court ordered the association to submit an undertaking with the condition that the BGMEA would not seek another extension after the current one it applied for, expired.