There are still around 255 risky buildings in the city and 35 of those buildings are at high risk of collapsing, according to surveys.
Despite growing concern of different quarters, including experts and residents of different areas, there is no visible initiative from Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) other authorities concerned to demolish the risky buildings.Housing and public woks minister S M Rezaul recently informed parliament that there are 255 risky buildings in the city. Of those, 35 were ‘identified’ as highly risky.
Of the risky buildings, 25 buildings were knocked down while 28 buildings were replaced by new ones by the owners, the minister informed.
The minister also asked the authorities to knock down the rest of the building following the reassessment of the building, but things remain unchanged after all of this.
RAJUK had pushed the responsibility to Dhaka City Corporation several times and the city corporation authorities did the same.
Earlier on April 27, 2016, the disaster management and relief ministry asked RAJUK to demolish the 321 buildings identified as vulnerable and risky within a month in cooperation with the two city corporations and the extended deadline for this expired on December 31, 2016.
The 321 risky buildings were identified by a survey in 2010 and a resurvey in 2016 by the development authorities which drew heavy flak with experts saying the actual number of risky buildings is lot more than the survey figures.Speaking at an event after the Chawkbazar inferno, D M P Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia also requested RAJUK to knock down risky building, especially in old Dhaka as the risky buildings are posing serious risk to public safety.
Housing and public works ministry formed an 11-member committee in July 2016 led by RAJUK member for development control Md Asmaul Hossain to submit the latest status of the 321 buildings and to make recommendations how to demolish those risky structures.
But there has not been any physical progress in this regard till now.
Talking to this correspondent, RAJUK director (Development Control-1) Begum Tanjila Khanam said, “We do not have any direction for knocking down the risky buildings identified in the survey. We will take action upon receiving direction from the high-ups.”
He also said a committee headed by additional secretary of disaster management and relief Md Mohsin was working to assess the actual status of the risky buildings. The committee will give the final decision on this, she added.
Wishing anonymity, another official of RAJUK said, RAJUK is going to inspect 5,000 buildings physically under the Urban Resilience project. As the results of the previous survey created huge controversy, the authority might revise the results and focus on upcoming study.
RAJUK chairman Abdur Rahman couldn’t be reached over phone for comments despite repeated attempts.