Vol. 5 Num 967 Sun. February 18, 2007  
Star City

DU violates building laws, construction rules

The Dhaka University authorities have violated the building rules in extending the building of Modern Languages Institute and erecting a pedestal for setting up a telephone tower on the rooftop of the university's central library, Rajuk sources said.

Though it is mandatory to obtain approval for any kind of building construction, modification and alteration from Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk), the DU authorities have started construction works without meeting the legal obligations.

According to the Building Construction Act of 1952, Metropolitan Building Construction Rules of 2006 and Bangladesh National Budding Code of 1993, anybody has to obtain prior approval for any building construction work from the designated authorities.

Authorised officer-1 of Rajuk Nurul Islam said the DU authorities have not obtained any permission for this construction and modification work. "Any government organisations including public universities must obtain permission from us."

However, DU Treasurer Prof Syed Abul Kalam Azad claimed any building within the university campus does not require approval from Rajuk. "I have never seen that the university authorities took permission from any authority for any construction work."

Honorary chairman of Centre for Urban Studies (CUS) Prof Nazrul Islam said the public universities, Dhaka City Corporation and Public Works Department have an attitude to defy the building laws and rules while constructing their buildings.

"But, as per law, they have to obtain approval for any kind of building constructions simply because nobody is above the law," said Prof Islam.

Rules must apply to everybody equally unless one is given exemption, said Islam who is also a member of the government's Urban Development Committee. He said the DU authorities cannot go on with the construction works in the manner they are doing.

Government amended The Building Construction Act of 1952 in February 2006 incorporating specific penal provisions for violators of building rules.

The Building Construction Act of 1952 (amended act no-15 of 2006) provides that whoever violates section 3 of the act or Building Rules of 2006 or provisions of the Bangladesh Building Code (BNBC) shall be punishable with imprisonment of up to seven years or with fine not less than Tk 50,000 or with both.

The Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB) on February 15 applied to the Rajuk chairman calling for action against the unauthorised construction work on the DU central library building, terming the building as a unique work of architecture.

Leading architects said the DU authorities have shown disregard to this landmark architectural work by renowned architect Muzharul Islam.

IAB President Mubasshar Hussain said the library building is one of the pioneering works of architecture accomplished during Pakistan period. Architectural Review published from London ran a feature in April 1960 on this library building.

DU violates construction laws and also defaces the sanctity of the famous Central Library. PHOTO: STAR