We cannot, at this juncture, afford to underestimate the value of vocational training
or too long, illegally constructed buildings -- either by violating the building code, twisting the original designs, or built without prior approval -- have been a thorn in the side of our overall economy.
It is shocking that, according to data, there were about 95,000 structures built without approval between 2006 to 2016 and 84% of storeys over 10 storeys were built by twisting their original designs.
To that end, while it is encouraging that the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) has looked over matters with the seriousness they deserve and are looking for viable solutions to this long-standing issue, it would do well to proceed with caution, or risk further problems down the road.
Rajuk’s proposed ideas include exploring the legalization of some of our illegal buildings by making the owners pay significant fines, provided that the structures meet certain criteria.
While experts have welcomed the idea of fining the owners, this could be a slippery slope; it could send the wrong message that, rather than detract future builders from pursuing illegal practices, encourages them. What must also be ensured is that owners do not discover loopholes and continue their illegal activities with impunity.
The last thing Dhaka needs is more people not following safe construction practices and building faulty buildings.
We have already seen the devastation that can occur from unsafe construction, from the fire at FR Tower in Banani to the collapse of Rana Plaza -- illegal, unsafe buildings are best destroyed for the safety of the citizens, which should always be the first priority.
Therefore, while the idea of fining owners for their illegal practices is an interesting idea which is not without merit, the authorities concerned must be doubly vigilant and cautious that this practice does not act as an enabler to future illegal practices.