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Dhaka Tribune

REHAB: Building height restrictions to control population density impractical

Apartment prices will increase with the RAJUK regulations, the real estate association says 
Update : 23 Dec 2021, 02:41 PM

The proposed detailed area plan (DAP) 2016-35 that the government is going to approve soon will push up property prices in Dhaka city, the Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) said on Sunday. 

REHAB President Alamgir Shamsul Alamin Kajal, while speaking at a press conference at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon hotel in the city, expressed deep concern at the initiative of the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) to restrict building heights in a bid to control population density in the capital.

Under the Building Construction Rules 2008, a developer can construct 13,500 square feet of space on five katha land. But that will be reduced to only 9,000 square feet in the proposed DAP.

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The platform of developers said that it might cause public sufferings and will intensify the prevailing housing crisis in the capital.

The REHAB president urged the government to reconsider the decision.

He said that instead of height restrictions, Rajuk could decentralize services for the development of other areas, especially urban areas.

Kajal said that if the government approves the proposed DAP, it will reduce building floor area ratio (FAR) from 33-53% at present.

He also said that before taking any steps to control population in Dhaka city, Rajuk should find the reasons behind the increasing population density.

A large number of people migrate to Dhaka city despite inadequate public amenities in the capital for the sake of education, health and livelihoods.

He proposed to set up quality educational institutions, hospitals and creation of new jobs and industries across the country to reduce pressure on the mega city.

To control population density, Rajuk has taken up the initiative of building height restrictions despite having many other ways to control it, opined REHAB Vice-President (Finance) Mohd Shohel Rana.

“Population density can be controlled by using other mechanisms too,” he added.

He said that many REHAB members have already signed contracts with land-owners following the previous development plan. These housing projects would become uncertain if the new policy is approved by the RAJUK.

“Flat ownership will be elusive for many as its price will double. A flat of per square feet that costs Tk6,000 will reach Tk12,000 under the new plan,” said Rana.

Not only the realtors but also the land owners and 269 types of linkage industries will also be affected, the association said.

They said that the real estate sector contributes 15% to the GDP of the country as more than 4 million people are directly involved with the sector.

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REHAB leaders said that if the government imposes restrictions on building height, it will also create a housing crisis, shortage of land, as well as financial unrest.

They explained that if building heights are restricted in Dhaka, people in nearby areas of the capital will build housing on their agricultural land to meet the rising demand for housing.

They demanded that the government widen roads and decentralize services so that other areas could be developed.

Among others, REHAB First Vice-President Kamal Mahmud, Vice-President-2 Nazrul Islam, and Vice-President-3 Lion Sharif Ali Khan were also present at the conference.

Rajuk has prepared a new 20-year DAP for 2016-2035 as the previous DAP, which covered 1,528 square kilometres of Dhaka Metropolitan City, expired in 2015.

The DAP is being prepared under the Regional Development Planning Project, funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), at a cost of over Tk33 crore.

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