Hatirjheel detail plan to be changed

The Housing and Public works Ministry has taken an initiative to change the particular Detailed Area Plan (DAP) formulated in 2016 for Hatirjheel, sources said.
In 2016, the ministry prepared a particular DAP in order to protect the beauty of Hatirjheel, one of the aesthetic areas of Dhaka city.
According to the revised DAP in 2016, separate provisions were kept for approval of the design up to 300 meters around Hatirjheel. Land owners within a 300-metre radius along the border of Hatirjheel project would not be able to build tall buildings.
As a result of this provision, ordinary people suffer regarding the construction of buildings in the area. Although hundreds of applications have been submitted over the last few years, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) has not been able to resolve any application due to complications of law.
Several recommendations have been made to ease the sufferings of land owners in this regard, according to Rajuk sources.
Rajuk wants to work in accordance with the law of construction of buildings for the construction of beautiful buildings like in New York, Singapore, Dubai, London and Bangkok. The Housing and Public Works Ministry has called a meeting next week to address the matter.
When asked, Rajuk's director (development control) Tanzila Khanam said, “A special DAP has been prepared for the Hatirjheel area. According to that DAP, the authorities need to take recommendation of a different committee to approve a design within 300 meters of Hatirjheel area. It has created complexity in approving the design. Several applications have been waiting for approval. Therefore, an initiative has been taken to recommend some new plans from Rajuk. A meeting is likely to be held next week at the ministry in this regard.”

According to the Rajuk sources, the Ministry of Housing and Public Works prepared a special DAP to create a natural environment in the Hatirjheel area. Due to the formation of this DAP, some rules have been added in addition to the building laws to construct structures in the area up to 300 meter radius of Hatirjheel. The ministry also published a gazette on September 1, 2016. From then on, the owners of the plots in Hatirjheel area faced difficulties in construction of buildings. Then conflict arose between the existing special DAP and the construction of the building Act-2008. As a result, hundreds of applications for construction of buildings were with Rajuk, but the authorities could not resolve it.”

Earlier, immediately after the Hatirjheel integrated project opened to the public in January 2013, the authorities decided that no structure beyond six stories would be allowed for the sake of the project's beauty.

According to a Rajuk source, a private housing company has applied for construction of a building at Dillu Road, 13. In accordance with the building construction law, the company has sought approval for the new building. But they are not getting approval in the long run as it is unclear what specific DAP and existing laws will be followed on the issue.

RAJUK officials said that there are three committees on the overall affairs of Hatirjheel. Apart from high-level officials of the Ministry, Mojibur Rahman, Prof Ishrat Ara, Architect Iqbal Habib, Project Director (part of Rajuk) and Project Officer (part of the Army) are the members of the Hatirjheel project.

Architect Iqbal Habib told Bangladesh Post, “Special provisions have been made for special areas at all places of the capital. In the case of Hatirjheel, this is no exception. I do not know why the people of Rajuk could not approve the design.”

About the change of DAP-2016, General Secretary of Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) Dr Adil Mohammad Khan told Bangladesh Post, “According to the revised DAP-2016 for Hatirjheel, no infrastructure design will be allowed to be constructed within a 300-metre radius along the fringe of Hatirjheel project which is not compatible with the area.

Initially, the plan has been made to protect the aesthetic beauty of Hatirjheel. Any plan can be changed in need. But, it has to be seen whether the plan will be changed just to protect the interest of any vested group.”