Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) is finally set to demolish the 15-storey BGMEA building later this week.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) building was supposed to be demolished by Rajuk on April 16 this year after getting clearance from the High Court, but the process could not be initiated on time.
Rajuk also did not take any decision at the time regarding the method which would be applied to demolish the building.
“We are going to start the demolition work of BGMEA building manually by this week and the procedure in this regard has been completed,” Rajuk Chief Engineer ASM Raihanul Ferdous told The Daily Star yesterday.
He said they have already given work order to Four Star Group to demolish this building.
“We have given them [Four Star Group] six months’ time primarily to demolish the building, and they will provide Tk 1.55 crore to Rajuk for the demolition -- taking away all the material that they will get from the building,” he said.
Raihanul said they held an auction for the demolition and gave the work order to the highest bidder.
There will be two vigilance teams from Rajuk and the construction firm so that safety measures are taken properly during the demolition, he said.
The HC had earlier given the building owners three chances to vacate the building.
The last chance allowed them until April 12, after which the building was supposed to be demolished -- but even that was not heeded to.
On April 16, Rajuk went to BGMEA Complex with police and bulldozers -- apparently ready to bring down the building built on a canal.
Eventually the building was not brought down because authorities found that office bearers were still residing in it. They were given the day to vacate, and the building was sealed off.
The then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the building on November 28, 1998.
On October 8, 2006, the then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia inaugurated the 15-storey BGMEA building.
Afterwards, it was found that the building was constructed illegally.
Following a news report on October 3 in 2010, an HC bench issued a suo-moto rule on the authorities asking why the building should not be demolished.
On April 3, 2011, an HC bench ordered the demolition of the illegal building but two days later the Appellate Division stayed the verdict for six weeks and asked BGMEA to file a leave to appeal petition against the verdict.
On March 19, 2013, the HC in its verdict ordered the relevant authorities to demolish the much-discussed building in three months.
The court, in the verdict, directed BGMEA to refund money to the buyers of floor space in the 15-storey building within a year.
In April last year, the appellate bench of the Supreme Court ordered the BGMEA building be demolished after April 12 this year.
The court termed the building “a cancer in the Hatirjheel project” as it blocked water flow between Hatirjheel lake and Begunbari canal.