In Dhaka city, construction materials are being stored on roads or sidewalks violating the rules as various problems are being created, including disruption of movement of pedestrians.
Most of the real estate developers in the capital preserve their construction materials on roads or sidewalks. However, according to the law of the city corporation, the builders have to seek and obtain prior permission to stock the construction materials like, sand, bricks, cement bags and iron rods.
If violated there is a provision of punishment as well as fine. However, construction work is going on paying no such attention to the laws. Such picture is noticed in almost all the places in the city from elite society to down town.
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 premises, although it is clearly stated in the building construction rules and building code 2008, no one seem to be respecting the laws.
The woes of the residents are unbearable. Most of the residents of different areas have complained repeatedly to the authorities concerned but got not remedy. The pains of blocking roads with construction materials and subsequent pollution from the fine dusts and noises is also said to be intolerable.
Some of the victims who suffer most shared their pains with this correspondent during his visits to various parts of the city.
Shawon, a resident of Moghbazar area, told this correspondent that one truck after another loaded with sand and bricks start entering the area after 9 pm. Everything is being unloaded on the street making constant noise while the bricks are off loaded. It takes two to three days to remove these.
Mahbuba, a resident of Mohammadpur area, said 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 pollution in the area increases and so does the noise pollution from most of the unfit engines of the running trucks.
Nahid, a resident of Greenroad area, said that 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 said, “Keeping construction materials beside the road is a punishable offence according. 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 the Bangladesh Post that special importance is being given to footpaths. In order to allow 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, 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.
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 or building materials or other articles or the fastening 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 by the government.”
Contacted, Quazi Mohammad Hasan, Director (Administration) of RAJUK told Bangladesh Post that, “Almost every day our mobile courts are being operated to control construction violations. Actually, due to lack of public awareness rules are being violated. More campaigns are needed to raise awareness.”