The headquarters of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) located at the Hatirjheel area of capital Dhaka is all set to get demolished after a delay of almost one year. The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) has decided to start the demolition work from today.
The BGMEA building, constructed on two bighas of land, has a total space of 2.66 lakh square feet; the association owned 1.40 lakh square feet of this space while the rest was sold, leased or rented out to different individuals or companies.
Of the building’s 266,000 square foot area, BGMEA reportedly sold 125,000 square feet to different companies, including apparel manufacturers and exporters and two commercial banks.
“It may take 6 months to complete the demolition of the building in Hatirjheel of Dhaka,” maintained Chairman of Rajuk Md. Sayeed Noor Alam speaking to the media, adding modern equipment would be used to bring down the building and not any explosives as had been predicted earlier.
It may be mentioned here that the BGMEA building courted controversy after a court termed the erection as ‘a cancer on the Hatirjheel project’ as it blocked water flow between Hatirjheel Lake and the Begunbari Canal.
Following a report on 3 October 2010, a High Court (HC) bench issued a suo moto rule to the authorities, asking why the structure should not be torn down. On 3 April 2011, an HC bench ordered the demolition of the illegal building; however, 2 days later the Appellate Division stayed the order for 6 weeks and asked the BGMEA to file a leave to appeal petition against the verdict.
On 19 March 2013, the HC in its verdict ordered the relevant authorities to demolish the building within 3 months.
Last year in April, Rajuk took the responsibility to demolish the building following a court order but had to call off the process as authorities found that office bearers were still residing in the building.