Delay in Uttara Apartment Project

Allotees to pay hefty price

Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha would not be able to hand over flats of Uttara Apartment Project to the owners on time and buyers, existing and potential, would literally have to pay for the delays.

New buyers would have to pay as much as Tk 32 lakh more than what people paid for the flats when they were first sold. And existing buyers of the flats would have to pay more before their homes are handed over to them.

Rajuk has so far been able to complete only 30 percent work of the UAP even though 80 percent of the work was supposed to be done by 2015. It was to hand over 6,636 flats in Block-A to buyers this year, said Project Director of UAP ASM Raihanul Ferdous.

Now, many buyers are looking at at least a two-year delay.

Rajuk launched the project in 2010 and asked the flat buyers to pay Tk 58 lakh for each 1,654sqft flat. It then selected three companies to build the buildings but the companies failed to perform and were ridiculously slow. Seeing potential delays, 2,500 flat buyers withdrew their money and left.

Rajuk is now trying to sell the 2,500 flats for about Tk 80 lakh each and trying to figure out how much more money it could ask existing buyers to pay.

Criticising Rajuk, many existing buyers said it would be impossible for them to bear the cost of the delays for which they were in no way responsible.

“They will continue to miss the deadline and we will continue to compensate? It's ridiculous,” said Qazi Mahmduur Rahman, a buyer.

Initially, Rajuk gave the construction deal to Ena-DongAH, Ena-DDJ, and BFL-HCL for constructing 79 buildings, each 16-storeies high with 84 flats.

Ruling Awami League lawmaker M Enamul Haque owns Ena Properties, which went into the deal with Korean DongAH and DDJ. Another ruling party leader owns HCL (Hamid Construction Ltd), which went into the deal with local company BFL.

For two years from 2012, the construction firms had only done “five percent” of the work, which led Rajuk to cancel the contracts, said PD Ferdous.

This encouraged the buyers to cancel their allotments and leave apprehending major delays.

Rajuk is not being nice to the ones who stayed with the project despite the delays. It wants more money from them saying the prices of construction materials have gone up.

On the rise of construction cost, buyer Qazi Mahmduur Rahman said, “Didn't they undertake the project calculating and adding the price hike? It's unacceptable.”

Jahirul Islam, who wants to buy one of the 2,500 flats now on offer, said, “For the same space, facilities, and condition, we will have to pay a higher price. Do you think it is fair?”

PD Ferdous admitted that had the project completed on time, buyers would not have needed to pay more.

“We've failed.”

On the work progress, he said, “We'll be able to handover 840 flats by December 16, 2016,” 

However, according to a document signed by a deputy project director, construction of 504 flats would be done by December, 2016.

Wishing anonymity, a Rajuk official involved in the project said, “I doubt whether people will be able to move into the flats as the construction work of other facilities [adjoining roads, mosques, bazaar] will not be completed by then.”

Talking to The Daily Star, PD Ferdous claimed that no irregularities took place while awarding contracts to the three construction firms.

However, sources said the Awami League leader exercised their influence to get the contracts.

Nineteen firms are now involved in the construction work.

A recent Rajuk document shows seven buildings out 57 had been erected completely while three buildings had been built up to floor 14; six buildings were up to floor six, seven and eight; 15 were up to floor one, two, three and four while 26 buildings were still having their basements being built.

In 2013, M Enamul Haque had blamed Rajuk's delay in handing over the project land, its internal roads, and removing overhead electric lines for the slow progress of work.


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