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Dhaka Tribune

Ambitious plan to reconstruct 10-storey Bangabazar market unveiled

  • New market will have 3,215 shops
  • Total cost of construction will be Tk365 crore
Update : 15 Mar 2024, 02:14 PM

Following a devastating fire that engulfed Bangabazar, one of the capital's largest wholesale cloth hubs, in April last year, the aftermath has prompted critical questions regarding trader safety and accountability. 

The blaze razed 5,000 shops across four markets, shattering the dreams of thousands of traders and leaving employees bereft of their livelihoods.

In a plan to revitalize the area, the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) has initiated plans for the construction of a 10-storey multi-storied market on the scorched grounds of Bangabazar. 

The project, named “Bangabazar Paikari Nagar Bipanibitan”, will stand on 106 katha of land, with construction costs totaling Tk365 crores to be borne by shop owners.

Construction is slated to commence next April, with affected traders given priority for shop allotment in the new market. The engineering department DSCC and the Bangabazar Complex Shop Owners Association have confirmed these developments.

Sources also said that the design work of Bangabazar wholesale market has already been completed. The DSCC will invite tenders for building construction soon.

Spacious shops

The revamped Bangabazar market will boast 3,215 shops and incorporate modern market amenities, including a robust fire-fighting system.

While the burnt Bangabazar complex offered shops ranging from 17 to 24 square feet, the reconstructed market will feature larger spaces spanning 80 to 120 square feet. 

Touhid Siraj, supervising engineer of Market Construction Cell of DSCC, said three companies named Srejanee Upadeshta Ltd, DPM, and Reflection and Design, have conducted the initial phase of designing. The design was finalized with inputs from shop owner associations and traders.

Prospective shop owners must deposit a minimum of Tk20 lakhs to the city corporation fund for allotment, with an option for payment in five installments.

Shop allocation

According to DSCC officials, priority will be given to traders affected by the fire, as stipulated by the Dhaka South City Corporation Market By-law 2016. 

Of the 2,961 affected shops, 3,215 will be allocated on the basis of valid allotment papers.

DSCC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mizanur Rahman said the authorities will ensure equitable treatment for all affected parties.

However, concerns persist among traders regarding potential exclusion from the prioritized allocation process and the financial burden related to deposit requirements.

Wishing to remain anonymous, some businessmen who were affected by the fire in the Bangabazar complex said that it is difficult to re-allocate a shop with Tk20 lakh after it has been damaged in the fire. Apart from this, there are many affected traders who do not have any valid documents.

Speaking on behalf of the Bangabazar Complex Shop Owners Association, General Secretary Zahirul Islam urged expedited completion of the project. 

He said: “The authorities said in a meeting that priority will be given to those affected by the fire. But many traders and injured persons may have some extra claims.”

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