No steps in 2yrs
Two years have passed since 321 buildings were identified as vulnerable in the city, but the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) and Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) are yet take any action about it.
Rajuk, the development authority of Dhaka, says DCC should demolish the buildings while DCC says they do not have the power.
Rajuk took the initiative to identify risky structures after a six-storey building in Kathalbagan area had tilted on November 7, 2010. It then found 321 vulnerable structures in the city and gave DCC a list of those.
"It is now the city corporation's duty to take action as per the DCC Act, 2008," said Rajuk Chairman Nurul Huda.
However, Chief Engineer of Dhaka South City Corporation Jahangir Alam said they do not have the authority to knock down a private building.
"Since Rajuk is approving building plans, why should demolishing be our duty," he said.
The disaster management bureau should take initiative to give DCC the legal power for such job, said Jahangir, adding that they had repeatedly raised the issue in meetings with Rajuk and the bureau, but to no avail.
Iqbal Habib, an architect and joint secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon, said the DCC and municipalities around the city were approving building constructions without consulting technical persons. This, according to him, is one of the main reasons for so many building being at risk.
He alleged Rajuk was not carrying out its responsibilities.
The DCC and Rajuk pointed fingers at each other after each building related disaster, but they did not take measures to identify all the risky buildings in the city and take proper action, said Iqbal, adding that the number of vulnerable buildings should be much greater than 321.
He suggested the government form a taskforce to identify all the risky structures and take proper actions about it.
The architect said the buildings that would be possible to retrofit could be given a chance for remedy but the rest among the vulnerable must be knocked down.
Besides, the buildings that had approval from municipalities or been erected unapproved needed to be brought to Rajuk's attention to make the city safe from incidents like that had happened in Savar, added Iqbal.