Bangladesh is now in the middle of an overwhelming natural disaster. At least 60 people (Much higher unofficially) has lost their lives and 6 million people have no food or shelter. Flood has devastated a big chunk of Bangladesh. Business, education, healthcare and normal life have been shattered in 1/4th of Bangladesh. Agriculture live stock loss is projected to reach billions of taka. People, women-children, old-youth are desperately looking for a dry land to rest or cook. The children are hungry. There is no food to eat, not place to rest, no transportation to move.
Finally after two weeks our CA visits a camp in Kurigram after landing in a ‘built for him’ heliport. And while the law advisor asks people to pray to God for reprieve and our generals compete with each other for a photo-op, a thousand hired workers hurriedly launch a crore taka budget demolition fiesta.
Yes, the fiesta to demolish Rangs Bhavan.
As Rangs Bhavan disappears rapidly, questions and concerns remain.
1. Didn’t we hear all along that Rangs Bhavan was built on illegal government land that was supposed to be a main city road? But Supreme Court verdict does not say anything about that. Supreme Court only orders demolition of floors over 60 feet.
2. What’s the use of doing all these court circus when government will ultimately acquire the land by force and demolish the rest of the floors. Government is acquiring it ( per law minister), that means the land was not government land.
Isn’t it something like “I support and agree with the arbitration, but the palm tree is mine”?
3. What will happen to the thousands of employees and their families working in the offices located in that 22 story building? Who will be responsible for their rehabilitation? Has government taken any step to force Rouf Chowdhury to take any step? Does government care?
4. Rangs Bhavan is not the only high rise in North/north central Dhaka. Just cross the street is the Bhashani planetarium, which also reportedly stands more than 60 feet height. Other prominent structures in the same zone are Biman Bhavan within the airport compound, Naval head quarter just south of Airport, all the high rises in kamal Ataturk Avenue, Gulshan # 2 circle and Uttara area.
Why there is a discriminating application of law?
5. And more importantly, Dhaka is one of the most crowded, over populated and overflowing city in this planet. There is severe land crunch. Dhaka must expand vertically from now on. The ages old aviation airspace rule and building code need to be updated to current technology. It is a ridiculous notion that no building over six story would be allowed anywheer near the airport. Then how does New York’s Kennedy airport runs? What about San Diego airport which is sandwiched between sky scrappers and mountains?
Give us a break dear policy makers.
6. What was the rush to demolish an office building of such a magnitude in less than 24 hours notice? Is a road waiting to go into function the next morning? In fact Dhaka people, as I was listening to their reaction in TV today, have exactly that idea.
How many of us have an idea what it will take to build to proposed Bijoy Sharani-Rampura road. This is an satellite image of rangs Bhavan ( Blue roof) and the area behind it. (Please click the arrow on left margin of the photo to view the complete image) There is no road. All are five/six story residential houses. Those must have been built with RAJUK permission. What will happen to them? How long it will take to acquire/demolish all of them?
And this is tejgaon railway yard between Rangs and Rampura. It is not a two lane track, I am talking about 15 track railway yard. Will it be moved? where? Or a 3 mile flyover will be built over it? Don’t we have more important places to build a flyover? Where is the money?
And finally this is Hatirjheel in Rampura. The last remaining water drainage reservoir in Dhaka. There is no way a road can be connected from Bijoy Sharani to rampura without crossing it. It will be a suicide to fill this Jheel to build the road. And an elevated road/bridge over the five mile wide span of the jheel? Does anybody has any idea how much that will cost? It takes us lifetime to build a two lane bridge over a river. And we are dreaming of an at least six lane city road over a five mile swamp? Does our government have any budget or plan on this matter?
Again then why the rush of 24 hours?
7. BTW, how government can be so sure that it could acquire the land of Rangs? What if Supreme Court does not allow it?
8. Law Advisor Moinul Hossain says the building was sign of abuse of power. Sure it was. But a worse abuse of power and arrogance is to demolish it such hurriedly without a national/civic/environmental conversation and then threat to acquire the land.
9. Or would I call it desperation for cheap public support in the face of rapidly dwindling pop