The eight-storey building titled Rana Plaza that collapsed near Savar bus stand on Wednesday was totally unplanned and built in breach of the National Building Code, experts, officials and local people claimed.
“Building codes were not followed and proper materials were not used in the construction of the building. We will take necessary steps in investigating the matter and hold accountable the responsible persons,” Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir said while visiting the site of the Savar tragedy.
Sheikh Abdul Mannan, planning division member of Rajuk said, “Savar is now under the Detailed Area Plan (DAP) that was implemented in 2010, and the building that collapsed today (Wednesday) was built 5 to 6years ago.”
“The owner of the building did not follow the National Building Code. The information is not in my hand whether they took permission at all before the construction work,” he added.
An engineer of the Capital Development Authority (Rajuk), who asked not to be named, told Dhaka Tribune, “The collapsed building in Savar was fully unplanned, and it was made without appropriate design or materials, and with nominal approval of Savar Municipality.”
“Several lakhs of buildings have been made illegally in and around Dhakathatare included in the Detailed Area Plan, but Rajuk has not taken any initiatives against it,” he said.
Kazi Golam Nasir, additional chief architect at the Department of Architecture, Housing and Public Works Ministry,said, “In the capital and its adjacent areas, including DAP, Rajuk gives approval to construct buildings and other infrastructures according to theNational Building Code and Detailed Area Plan.”
He added that in other cities of the country, the local city corporation authority and in towns,the municipal authority approve design and construction work.
“I heard from an official of Rajuk this morning (Wednesday) that the collapsed building in Savar did not get approval from Savar Municipality, though it was under the Capital Development Authority (Rajuk) according to DAP,” he said. “Without investigation it not possible to say why the building collapsed,” he added.
He also said that the Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC) was made in 1993 to regulate the technical details of building construction and to maintain the standard of building construction.
It came into force as a regulation under the Building Construction Act 1952, through a gazette notification in 2006.
In 2009,a two-year project was undertaken to update Bangladesh National Building Code 1996 and it is now under process.
Shariful Huq, a resident of Savar, told Dhaka Tribune, “The owner of the collapsed building is a powerful leader of ruling Awami League associate Jubo League, and he made the building by himself neglecting design and rules.”
Savar Municipality Mayor Md Refat Ullah, meanwhile,was unreachable even after repeated calls over mobile phone.