In Dhaka city, construction materials are being placed on roads or sidewalks violating the rules as various problems are being happened and the normal life of people is being disrupted.
Most of the building builders in the capital place their construction materials on roads or sidewalks. However, according to the law of the city corporation, permission has to be taken to keep construction materials somewhere.
Otherwise there is a provision of punishment. But the construction work is going on placing the construction materials on the roads and sidewalks. The picture is almost everywhere from the elite areas of the city to the alleys.
According to analysts, such a picture remains unchanged due to negligence, transparency and lack of goodwill of the concerned authorities. Acknowledging the matter, RAJUK said they will increase surveillance.
However, building materials should be kept in the building owner’s own place, although it is clearly stated in the building construction rules and building code 2008, no one cares. And this law is being broken in front of the eyes of the law enforcement agencies.
This reporter have visited at least 10 wards of the city’s North and South City Corporations and found that construction materials have been placed on sidewalks or roads. Somewhere brick, somewhere sand are being placed. Again rods have been placed somewhere along the sidewalk. According to the locals, such picture can be seen on the main road from alley almost every day.
While visited on Thursday and Friday in the capital’s Basabo, Kamalapur, Motijheel, Fakirapul, Paltan, Tikatuli, Rajardeuri, Banglabazar, Old Dhaka, New Eskaton, Bangla Motor, Nilkhet, Khilkhet, Mouchak, Malibagh, Shantinagar, it was seen that construction materials like sand and brick are being placed on roads and sidewalks. However, no one was reluctant to talk about the responsibility for keeping these construction materials on road.
The residents of these areas and nearby areas are being suffered greatly with the ongoing construction of different buildings. Dumping of debris and construction materials on pavement and roadside has become commonplace in the locality, highlighting negligent attitude of the builders.
The dumping of construction waste and storing materials on roadside or pavements is not limited to these areas and nearby areas. Any big construction project around the city poses the same problem. Does this indicate that the authorities and stakeholders are failing to uphold the laws in place?
Shawon, a resident of Moghbazar area, told that one truck after another loaded with sand and bricks start entering the area after 9 pm. Everything is being unloaded on the street. It takes two to three days to remove these.
Mahbuba, a resident of Muhammadpur area, told that new houses are being built at the end of each lane in the area. As a result, it is seen that construction materials are brought by truck every night. As a result, the level of dust in the area increase and indescribable misery Increase.
Nahid, a resident of Greenroad area, said works are underway to build new houses. Construction of multi-storey building is underway also. As a result, the level of pollution in the area increases due to trucks entering every night which increase suffering.
Hussain Ahmod Azad, a school teacher from Lalmatia area told Post that, “Keeping construction materials beside the road is a punishable offence according to our law as it creates obstruction to both people and traffic. The authority should keep roads and footpaths free from all obstructions if we want to make movement of pedestrians and vehicles smooth and uninterrupted.”
In this regard, Atiqul Islam, the Mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation, told that special importance is being given to footpaths. In order to make the pedestrians move freely, steps have been taken to solve the problem quickly by providing information to the citizens. DNCC Mayor has urged people not to place construction materials on any road or sidewalk in Dhaka city. He also said that legal action would be taken if construction materials are placed on the road.
The mayor further said, “Nobody will be allowed to do business keeping construction materials on the roads and footpaths. No matter how powerful you are. You cannot occupy roads and footpaths. Dhaka is the beloved city to all of us. We earn our livelihood from the city. We will not allow anyone to destroy the city.”
Earlier, on last year, the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) has conducted eviction drives against occupiers who kept construction materials illegally on footpaths and roads. The drives were held in order to free the footpaths and city streets for easy movement of the pedestrians and vehicles.
In the meantime, Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh on Thursday gave instruction to suspend all housing projects constructed by filling up canals without the city corporation’s permission.
Taposh said they visited the areas and found some housing projects occupying lands without the permission of DSCC. He said the construction is being done in an unplanned manner.
“They will not be allowed to construct housing projects here and there without permission and if necessary, DSCC will seize vehicles and equipment from the companies,” he said.
However, placing construction materials scattered along the pavement is punishable by a maximum of 1 year imprisonment or a fine of Tk 1,00,000 or both. Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has amended the ‘Environmental Protection Rules-1997’ with the provision of such punishment.
The rules state that if the same crime is repeated, the punishment will be doubled. The same punishment will be meted out if the construction material is not covered.
The amended rules further state that the building under construction should be covered with appropriate temporary tents or enclosures at the construction site. All types of construction materials (soil, sand, rod, cement, etc.) must be covered. Trucks, vans or lorries used for transporting construction materials (soil, sand, cement, bricks, garbage, etc.) must be covered also.
However, according to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police ordinance, 1976, “Prohibiting or controlling the placing of building materials or other articles or the fastening or detention of any animal in any street or public place is illegal.” It also states that “Whoever causes obstruction in any street or public place by keeping or storing building materials or other articles therein shall be punishable with fine which may extend to 2000 taka and such materials or articles shall be liable to be confiscated to the Government.”
Contacted, Quazi Mohammad Hasan, Director (Administration) of RAJUK told that, “Almost every day our mobile court are being operated to control construction violations. Actually due to lack of people awareness rules are being violated. More campaign need to grow awareness.”
According to Section 29 of Dhaka Metropolitan Building Construction Rules, 2008, authority may stop construction, and warn construction according to the design, and can demolish the structure if any violation of the design is found at any stage or if the structure poses any risk to nearby life, property and environment.
Authority can cancel the approval if any violation or any unauthorized change of the design is found. In such a situation, authority will inform utility providers to stop providing service to the violating buildings.
Article 37 describe the activity of a committee named “Nagar Unnayan Committee,” which can inspect or examine the construction by professional personnel at any time. If the officials fail to identify the fault during the construction, then the committee recommends punishment for the officials for their negligence and authority must punish them according to the recommendations.
According to the rules, every high-rise building must keep empty space of 1.5 metres in the front, and three meters on the other sides.
Ar. Shafique Rahman, Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology told the bdontv.com that: “Building and infrastructure construction sector in Bangladesh has been increasingly expanding with the rising economy. However, in Dhaka building construction poses further difficulties on the traffic congestion and pedestrian mobility, since construction materials in most of the cases stored on the vicinity of the construction site. We can overcome the situation with a proper building construction management plan, which is not currently a part of building approval process in Bangladesh. In the building approval process a construction management showing how the materials will be managed during construction should be a mandatory requirement. In addition, monitoring of the local authority during construction to maintain the management plan should be ensured.”