Rajuk betrays affected people

July 31, 2010

UTTARA MODEL TOWN
Rajuk betrays affected people
Landowners, whose land was acquired for the third phase of Uttara Model Town, accused Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha of going back on its promise of providing compensatory plots all without discriminating between the holding sizes.
Now, they said, Rajuk was providing the compensatory plots only to owners of 10-khata or greater holdings, leaving out the owners of smaller holdings, reports NewAge.
They said that it was a clear breach of the government’s promise to allot compensatory plots to all whose property, irrespective of size, were acquired for the third phase of the residential project in the Uttara Model Town, Rajuk is developing on their land.
Owners of smaller holdings, losing their land to the project, said that they felt betrayed and left out.
According to a decision taken at an inter-ministerial meeting on February 9, 2000, each and every owner, whose land was acquired by Rajuk is entitled to get a compensatory plot in the new residential zone, under development, they said.
The land ministry at its 54th meeting on July 18, 2000, asked the authorities concerned to constitute a committee comprising representatives from the ministries of housing and public works and land as well as Rajuk for providing compensatory plots to all dislodged or affected by the project.
The ministry meeting took no decision to discriminate the affected owners on the size of their holdings for providing compensatory plots.
In 2001, Rajuk sought applications for compensatory plots in the project area from all the affected owners who lost even less than five katha of land.
A Rajuk advertisement sought the applications for compensatory plots from those who lost less than five katha of land.
The affected people said government officials made repeated promises that compensatory plots would be given to each and every land owner.
‘A seven katha plot, which I bought in 1990 for building a house, was acquired,’ said Mafizul Haque.
‘At the time of acquisition,’ he said, ‘government officials told me that I will get a compensatory plot in the project area.’
‘But Rajuk is now saying that the compensatory plots will be given only to those who lost 10 katha or greater holdings,’ he said.
Asked for his comments, Rajuk chairman Nurul Huda said, ‘I am taking action in line with the project proposal, which stipulates compensatory plots for only 10 katha or greater holdings.’
When his attention to decisions of the land ministry or the inter-ministerial meeting, he said he was not aware of them.
He, however, said the land owners, who did not get compensatory plots, will get preferential treatment when Rajuk allots its flats, now under construction in the project area.
He said that Rajuk already allotted some compensatory plots and the remaining compensatory plots will be given by August.
The secretary general of the Welfare Association Land Owners Affected by the Third Phase of Uttara Residential Project, Amanullah Bhuiyan, told New Age that about 2,000 land owners who lost their lands were yet to get the compensatory plots.
Meanwhile, the left out land owners gave a 15 days’ ultimatum to Rajuk last week to provide compensatory plots to all whose land was acquired for the Uttara Residential Project.
They said that they would lay a siege of the Rajuk office at Dilkusha on August 8 unless it allots compensatory plots to rehabilitate all the 2,000 affected owners by the deadline.
Urban expert and University Grants Commission chairman Nazrul Islam said the affected land owners should be rehabilitated in the project.
‘If Rajuk does not rehabilitate them after making the promise, it will earn a bad-name,’ he said.
Iqbal Habib, an architect and joint secretary of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolan, said, ‘if Rajuk does not provide compensatory plots as it promised, it would be accused of deceiving the land owners.’
Out of 9,045 plots, Rajuk allotted in the 2,100-acre third phase Uttara residential zone it is developing, 8,295 are residential plots, 550 commercial and around 200 institutional plots.
Rajuk planned the Uttara Third Phase Residential Zone to house five lakh people, with a per acre density of 240 persons.
In the first phase, Rajuk allotted 6,000 plots of different sizes aggregating 950 acres.
Starting in 1992 it completed the second phase of Uttara Model Town expansion in 1998.
For the second phase, Rajuk acquired 438 acres of land to allot 5,315 plots.

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