Building approvals: Real estate agents concerned about decision to include municipal corporations

Claiming permits from Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha is already a struggle and plans to make municipal corporations another building construction authority would multiply misfortunes, according to the Bangladesh Property and Housing Association. Photo: star/file

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Claiming permits from Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha is already a struggle and plans to make municipal corporations another building construction authority would multiply misfortunes, according to the Bangladesh Property and Housing Association. Photo: star/file

Property agents have expressed concern over the government’s plan to involve municipal corporations in the process of building permits for structures in Dhaka as it would create more hassle for the housing sector.

Md Tajul Islam, Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, briefed the mayors of Dhaka and Chattogram on the government’s plan during a meeting on February 6.

Islam said individuals and organizations will now need to obtain permission from their respective municipalities, in addition to Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk), to erect buildings in Dhaka.

However, the minister asked the mayors to be aware so that people are not harassed in the process.

“If city corporations get involved in granting construction permits, it will have a negative impact on the housing industry,” said Alamgir Shamsul Alamin, president of the Real Estate and Housing Association. of Bangladesh (REHAB).

“We are already facing serious hassles to get our designs approved by the Rajuk, even though the organization has 50 years of experience and sufficient manpower,” he said.

Municipal corporations are not as well equipped in this regard. Thus, the hassle would increase enormously if another organization was involved in the approval process, as this would lead to additional delays and conflicts, Alamin added.

FR Khan, managing director of Building Technology and Ideas Ltd, said that if the government decided to involve municipal companies in the approval process, only two things could happen. The first is increased corruption while the second is slower processing.

“It goes against the government’s plan to introduce one-stop services to improve the ease of doing business in Bangladesh,” he said.

Currently, real estate agents must obtain permission from 10 different government organizations in the event of the construction of high-rise structures.

Thus, this plan will not have a positive effect on the industry but will rather affect the approximately 50 lakh strong workforce involved in the construction sector including the backward linkage industries, a Khan said.

Iqbal Habib, joint secretary of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon, told the Daily Star that this initiative will be welcomed when approval of plans in all other service provider organizations is given by municipal corporations in a coordinated manner.

“Otherwise, introducing a new organization into the planning process which already includes the Rajuk and other service provider organizations like fire and civil defense will only increase the suffering of the people,” he said. declared.

Adil Mohammad Khan, former Secretary General of the Bangladesh Institute of Planners, said most municipal corporations across the world ideally remain involved in this type of approval process.

“This is because the real impact of any structure can only be felt after construction is complete. Thus, in many countries, development authority remains with municipal corporations who play a vital role in this regard.”

“But in Bangladesh, there is a separate authority for this.”

However, many people worry about the move as they anticipate increased hassle due to their bitter experiences from the past.

“But if the government wants to do this, municipal corporations must be developed to do the job by creating a separate planning unit in each of their wards or at least in the 10 zonal offices,” Adil said.

The Rajuk approves a building plan but plays no role in its impact analysis, so if the two organizations work in a coordinated fashion, the city corporations can provide positive support.

However, the reality is that the corporations in the city do not have a planning unit to do the work, and if they do it without setting up a planning unit, it will have a negative impact, he said. added.

Md Selim Reza, Managing Director of Dhaka North City Corporation, says she is preparing a draft directive in this regard and will submit it to the relevant ministry for approval.

“We will start working towards this after we get approval and post it,” he said.

Responding to concerns from various stakeholders, Reza said people will have no problem getting approval from city corporations before taking final approval from Rajuk.

The process will curb rule-breaking and the tendency to not follow approved designs, he said.

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