Built for low-income people, going to rich | 2019-07-20

Rajuk Apartments at Uttara

Built for low-income people, going to rich

Hasibul Aman

20 July, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Built for low-income people, going to rich

Low and middle-income group’s dream to have a flat in the capital is fading away as Rajuk’s under-construction apartments are going to the well-off people, sources concerned said.

The Uttara apartment project, which started in 2012, saw only 36.17 percent progress in the last eight years. 

Implementation monitoring and evaluation division (IMED) found the slow progress of the project meant for low and middle-income people.

The apartment project is being implemented in sector 18 of Uttara in the capital.  Because of low demand, the apartments remain unsold, forcing Rajuk to stop work of other blocks of the project until metro rail comes into operation, project people said. 

“Though the project has been taken low and middle-income people, it will be difficult for them to buy the apartments,” a Rajuk official said seeking anonymity.

However, if anybody is interested, they can buy the apartments as many of them remain unsold, he added.

Actually, limited income people won’t be able to buy any apartment, whatever its size is, the official said.

He gave the example of government flats in Bhasantek built for slum dwellers but ultimately these flats went to affluent people.

According to the World Bank estimate for FY19, people with Tk 79,600 annual income can be called low income and people above this income level up to Tk 3,11,600 can be called lower middle-income and from this level to Tk9,64,400 earners are high income group. 

Following this criteria, IMED found that only four people or 1 percent flat buyers were in low-income segment, 337 people or 67 percent are in higher middle-income group and 159 buyers or 32 percent are high income people.

Although the project has been undertaken for low and middle-income people, the inspection report suggests that low-income people actually are deprived of the facility, jeopardizing the core objective of the project.

The IMED report also suggests that 6,132 flats out of 6,636 have so far been completed in Block A under the project and the work of the rest is going on.

Only 840 flats have been handed over while the rest are in the process.

At the first stage, the price of a 1,654 square feet flat was fixed at Tk57,89,000, which was increased to Tk79,29,200 crore.

The primary objective of the project cannot be met as bearing such level of expenditure is not possible for low and middle-income people.

Rajuk officials claimed that limited income people will be able to buy flats when smaller 850 square feet flats will be built in the project’s C block.

Rajuk’s main work is to develop township and the project has been undertaken with 20 to 50 year’s long-term plan, they added.

IMED report also said the project was supposed to complete in 10 fiscal years, but in eighth year until March of FY’19, the project could spend only Tk3,964 crore which is only 37.44 percent of the revised project cost.

Besides, there was a target to construct 15,000 flats in 183 buildings on 241.44 acres of land in three blocks – A, B and C.

However, work of B and C blocks are yet to start and Tk4,869 crore had been allocated for block A project where 6,636 flats are being constructed on 96 acres of land.

About the delay in start of block B and C’s work, Rajuk officials said they were waiting for metro rail project because a large number of built flats remain unsold.

Besides, road facilities and financial facilities will be required for the start of the work.