• Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019
  • Last Update : 11:16 am

Housing minister: No illegal building owners will be spared

  • Published at 04:57 pm June 21st, 2019
Jahaj Bari
File photo of ‘Jahaj Bari’ in Old Dhaka’s Chawkbazar before it was demolished Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The ministry will not let any heritage site to be demolished, the minister said

Housing and Public Works Minister SM Rezaul Karim has said that no illegal house owners will be spared, regardless of whether they hold powerful positions or not.

Identifying a total of 1,818 buildings in Dhaka as risky, the minister said: "Owners of these buildings are politically, and financially powerful. But I have ordered to take action against them."

He made the comments at a press conference held at Dhaka Reporters' Unity in Segunbagicha on Friday.

"However, we will send them notices first, so they can have time to defend themselves if they want," the minister added.

Rezaul said his ministry cannot do much to stop buildings from being demolished if they have not been listed as heritage structures.

“We have some misunderstandings about heritage sites. Sometimes it [a building] might look like a heritage site, but if it is not listed as a heritage site we cannot really do anything,” the minister said at a press briefing organized by the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) on Friday.  

Jahaj Bari, a building on Old Dhaka’s Chawkbazar Road, was demolished on June 5, the night of Eid-ul-Fitr, in violation of a High Court order.

The minister said if a building is listed as a heritage building, his ministry will not permit it to be demolished. 

Shedding light on the aesthetic value of Dhaka city, he said it is not feasible to change the design of the buildings to make the city more attractive. "However, we will make sure the buildings in new model towns, such as Purbachal, will have some sort of uniformity."

Elias Hossain, president of Dhaka Reporters' Unity said there will be a speedy investigation into the murder case of journalist couple Sagar-Runi.

Kabir Ahmed Khan, general secretary of Dhaka Reporters’ Unity was also present at the program.