Housing and Public Works minister inaugurated the demolition process
Housing and Public Works Minister SM Rezaul Karim inaugurated the demolition process around 12:30pm on Wednesday.
Four Star Enterprise Limited, a local company, has been given the responsibility of carrying out the work. Nasrullah Khan Rashed, the company's director, said: "As per the terms of our tender, the whole building must be demolished within six months.
"We have also been asked to remove the detritus of the building within that time span," adding that they will begin demolishing the building from the top floor.
He further said two excavators and a bulldozer, along with other high-quality equipment, had been brought to the site to tear down the building.
Nasrullah further said they have been instructed to bulldoze the small bridge near the building, because a road has been planned to be constructed in its place.
Two committees were formed to oversee the entire demolition process - Top Supervision Committee and Constant Monitoring Committee.
The demolition of the BGMEA building is a joint project by Rajuk and the Public Works Department.
Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) halted the demolition process in October last year to BGMEA some time to remove its electric sub-station, four lifts, and other belongings from the building.
The BGMEA built a 15-storey building with 266,000 square feet of floor space on land belonging to Hatirjheel, and sold 125,000 square feet of floor space to different entities, including Dhaka Bank, Exim Bank Ltd, and 38 apparel manufacturing companies.
The building was raised without the permission of the Ministry of Housing and Public Works and against the ministry’s rules. The construction was finished in 2006.
In 2011, the High Court issued an order to tear it down, describing the BGMEA building as a tumour in the middle of Hatirjheel canal. It also ordered the government to demolish the structure within 90 days, terming it as "a cancerous growth" eclipsing the capital’s landmark Hatirjheel lake.
The apex court rejected the BGMEA’s appeal against the High Court order on June 2, 2016.
The garment exporters took a long time to demolish the building after the Supreme Court order. The final deadline ended on Apr 12, 2019.
In April, 2018, the BGMEA obtained a third extension of one year to demolish the illegally built structure from the Appellate Division after an undertaking by the organization not to seek any further extension of time.