High-rises defy building code in Chuadanga

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Staff Reporter:

High-rises are being constructed in the district town flouting the building code and thus putting the lives of people at risk.

Many of these buildings are being constructed by filling up water bodies and they lack fire safety system.

Officials said one has to obtain the municipality’s approval to build houses in the town. For structures above six-storey ones, owners have to get approval of a Deputy Commissioner’s committee under the Ministry of Housing and Public Works.

For approvals, builders have to follow 10 rules that include soil test, infrastructural condition and fire extinguish system.

“But house owners don’t follow any rule,” said Kawsar Ali, former engineer of Chuadanga municipality.

Construction of over a hundred multi-storey buildings is underway in the district town but most of them have no approval as the owners are connected to politically influential people, locals said.

In some cases, they said, house owners do not pay heed to objections raised by the local municipality.

There are some house owners who took permission for six-storey structures but later extended floors illegally.

Ekramul Haque Khalil, a local, said the buildings being constructed illegally are vulnerable to earthquake and fire incidents.

Abdus Salam, a Deputy Assistant Director at Chuadanga Fire Service and Civil Defence’s, said there is a lack of fire safety in buildings here. “Firefighting system is a must. People are inviting death by not following the rules,” he said, urging the authorities concerned to take stern steps.

Municipality Mayor Obaidur Rahman Chowdhury said they have learned a lesson from recent incidents of fire in Dhaka’s Chawkbazar and Banani areas.

He said legal steps would be taken against house owners who violated the building code.

Deputy Commissioner Gopal Chandra Das said the administration would not allow the construction of buildings that flout the rules.

“We won’t allow it no matter how powerful the people (house owners) are. Tough actions will be taken against them,” he said.unb

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