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Housing minister: Rajuk will be decentralized

  • Published at 04:07 pm June 27th, 2019
File photo of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) building on Rajuk Avenue at Motijheel, Dhaka Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

It is part of the prime minister's agenda to raise efficiency of government institutions

Dhaka’s real estate regulator Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) may soon become decentralized.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of Rajuk service week on Thursday, Housing and Public Works Minister SM Reazul Karim said it would raise Rajuk’s efficiency.

"Rajuk is a large institution and it is quite impossible to provide all the services through a single office," he said. 

The minister said decentralization is one of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s agendas to raise the efficiency of government institutions and regulatory agencies.

The minister urged all Rajuk employees to work sincerely and warned of strict action otherwise.

He added that though most Rajuk employees work hard, there are a few bad apples. “I will suspend all of them if they don’t change."

Reazul Karim, also the law affairs secretary of ruling Awami League, said that Rajuk’s good initiatives have been blurred by a few officials.

He said: “Our initiatives, like the 300-feet road and Hatirjheel, to make Dhaka a beautiful and healthy city fade away when we have to shoulder the responsibility for a ‘pillow incident’,” he said, referring to a recent scam in purchasing items for flats at the Rooppur nuclear power plant project in Pabna.

The minister claimed that they will follow ‘an empty house is better than a bad tenant’ policy and will not suffer bad employees.

Another speaker, Engineers Institute Bangladesh President Abdus Sabur, said: “There is no alternative to ensuring transparency, accountability and good service in Rajuk.”

Among others, Housing and Public Works Secretary Shahid Ullah Khondokar and Vice President of the Institute of Architects Bangladesh Jalal Ahmad were present at the closing ceremony, while Rajuk Chairman Sultan Ahmed was in the chair.

Earlier on Tuesday, former Rajuk chairman Md Humayun Khadem, 19 of his colleagues, and the owner of FR Tower were accused of illegally approving the design and construction of the high-rise that caught fire in Dhaka’s Banani area three months ago.

ACC Deputy Director Abu Bakar Siddiqui filed two cases in this regard with the Anti-corruption Commission's coordinated district office in Dhaka 1. In the case statement, the ACC said Rajuk officials and others misused power to give an illegally revised approval for floors 15 to 18 of FR Tower. Later, the building was raised up to 23 floors by the developer, Rupayan, without any kind of approval by Rajuk. They reportedly made fake documents of approval. The multistorey building also did not have approval from the Civil Aviation Authority and other relevant authorities. 

On March 28, a deadly fire at the FR Tower claimed the lives of 26 people and injured more than 70. Multiple probe committees were formed to investigate the incident, and Rajuk faced widespread criticism.