Ban slapped on advertisement
The High Court yesterday banned advertisement of unauthorised housing projects in print and electronic media.
The HC bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Justice Jahangir Hossain Salim also directed the government to take immediate legal actions against the publicity, earth filling and other activities of the projects.
The directives came in response to a petition filed by Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela), Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon, and Paribesh Banchao Andolan on June 16 this year.
The Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (Rehab) was then holding a fair in the capital promoting a good number of projects that were earlier declared illegal by the court.
The petition said a number of housing companies that were sponsoring the fair have unauthorised projects.
Newspapers and television channels now have to check the approval document of each housing project before running its advertisement, said executive director of Bela Syeda Rizwana Hasan.
Bela's counsel Iqbal Kabir Lytton said the Rajdhani Unnyan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) informed the court that it had already sent copies of a list of unauthorised housing projects to print and electronic media so that the media keep from running their advertisement.
The HC in a rule on June 8 declared 73 private housing projects in and around the capital illegal and ordered immediate halt to their activities, including sales of plots and earth filling, and removal of their ads and signboards.
The court on that day also issued a rule upon the government to explain why its failure to stop the advertisements of illegal housing projects should not be declared unlawful and against public interest.
The government, however, did not make any reply to the rule, Iqbal Kabir told the Daily Star, adding that Rajuk then furnished the court with a list of illegal housing projects.
Rajuk documents show that it only approved 24 private housing projects in and around the capital before the Private Housing Project Land Development Rules, 2004 came into effect.