Employees said Rajuk sealed off the building before they could remove their assets entirely
The offices that are housed in the illegal BGMEA building have yet to evacuate from the establishment.
Employees of these organizations said they had not been able to remove all of their assets from the building before Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) – the agency responsible for Dhaka’s development – sealed the building off on Tuesday.
Visiting the site in the city’s Hatirjheel area yesterday, this reporter saw employees of 8-10 offices crowding the premises with their hired help. A team of 10-12 policemen were stationed in front of the condemned building’s sealed entrance.
An employee of the DBL Group, one of the offices in the BGMEA building, said almost 90% of their properties were still in the office.
“It was impossible to remove all our assets in the short period of time that Rajuk allotted us before sealing the building off yesterday [on Tuesday],” he told Dhaka Tribune, requesting anonymity.
When told about the court order that said the building was to be demolished sometime after April 12 this year, the employee said BGMEA unofficially told them it would take six or seven more months to demolish the building.
“That is why we could not anticipate leaving this building so early,” he added.
“Today [yesterday], we came here with hired labourers to remove our goods from the building, but the policemen are not allowing us in,” said an official of Aqua Marine Dredging Limited, another office in the building.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, BGMEA Joint Secretary Mohammad Moniruzzaman said they were processing an application to Rajuk for permission to remove their assets.
“There are many offices in the building, and we could not transfer our all valuables from the building,” he said.
Rajuk Chief Engineer ASM Raihanul Ferdous said if the companies sought permission through an application, they would be allotted an extension to evacuate their offices.
“Every company has to apply for permission separately,” he added.
A Rajuk team put a lock on the building’s gate around 7:30pm on Tuesday. 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 were fully prepared to demolish the building.
He said since many other organizations are housed in the illegally built building, they were given till 5pm on Tuesday 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.