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NEWS 5

SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2015

KARWAN BAZAR LAND SUBSIDENCE

1 Rajuk official suspended, 2 show-caused n Kamrul Hasan

Dhaka city development authority Rajuk has suspended one official and show caused two others because of irregularities in giving permission to the construction site that saw several land subsidences since Wednesday. In a press briefing yesterday, Md Abdur Rahman, acting chairman of Rajuk, said these officials had not informed the higher authority before approving the construction of the NBL twin towers. However, Abdur Rahman did not disclose the names of those officials at the press briefing or when contacted. Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) approves building designs and monitors whether or not existing rules and regulations are followed in construction. Public representatives, such as lawmakers and city mayors, have been blaming Rajuk’s incompetence for the subsidences at Bir Uttam CR Dutta Road which put the Hotel Sundarban at risk. The popular hotel was evacuated immediately after the first subsidence on Wednesday morning in which a part of the busy road caved into the 60-feet excavation hole at the construction site. Before authorities could secure that part, land subsided twice more on Thursday night and Friday morning, eating up more of the road and prompting authorities to restrict traffic on the southern half of the adjacent Panthapath road indefinitely. Authorities and experts earlier said that at least 1,500 truckloads of sand would be need-

The collapsed site of under-construction NBL Twin Tower being filled with sand yesterday to prevent the nearby Sundarban Hotel and its surrounding areas from being subsided SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN ed to fully secure the area. But as of yesterday, around 4,000 truckloads of sand have been dumped at the site, said Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Chief Engineer Ansar Ali. Experts said all this sand has only secured the part that subsided on the first day. After the second and third subsidences, more cracks developed on the wall that separates the Hotel Sundarban and the construction

Sexual assaults: Adivasis demand exemplary punishment n DU Correspondent Several indigenous organisations demonstrated in the capital yesterday demanding quick trial and tougher punishment in the incidents of sexual assaults and rape of women and children. Bangladesh Adivasi Forum organised a rally at the Central Shaheed Minar demanding exemplary punishment to the culprits who gang raped a Garo woman in the capital on May 21. They also asked the government to ensure security of all the indigenous women and taking responsibility of the victims. Garo Student Union, Pahari Chhatra Parishad, Ain O Salish Kendra, Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum, Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, Bangladesh Chhatra Union, Bangladesh Chhatra Federation, Udichi Shilpigosthi, and Nari Pakkha expressed solidarity with the forum’s demands. Rights activist Khushi Kabir condemned irresponsibility of the police saying that such attitude help recurrence of rape and sexual harassment. She said the police arrest rapists when the higher authorities give them green signal.

“Otherwise they do not act to arrest the perpetrators.” Dhaka University teacher Prof Mesbah Kamal said even though the state head is a woman, the state policy is not women-friendly. He urged the prime minister to take all responsibilities of the Garo woman. Cultural activist Mamunur Rashid said perpetrators who assaulted indigenous women at Jahangirnagar University, in the capital’s Mohammadpur and Kuril must be punished to stop aggression on women. Jouno Nipiron Birodhi Nirdolio Chhatra Jote, a non-partisan students’ alliance against sexual harassment, has announced to hold a march towards the Prime Minister’s Office and submission of a memorandum today. They demanded that rape cases are dealt by speedy trial tribunals. Meanwhile, Garo Students’ Union has announced to hold a mock gallows for rapists on June 2. Bangladesh Chhatra Union also organised a rally at TSC yesterday demanding immediate arrest of the perpetrators responsible for sexually assaulting women and children across the country including during the Pohela Boishakh celebrations. l

site. So, a lot more sand will be needed to make sure that these new cracks do not hurt the hotel building and the adjacent roads and streets. Buet Professor Sayeed Fakhrul Amin, who had been observing the site since Wednesday, said: “The north-west side of Hotel Sundarban is still under risk. The authorities will have to dump sand to fill up the north-east and north-west sides of the excavation hole to make the area risk-free.”

However, as far as this correspondent has seen, filling the entire hole, especially the western side of the site, will not be easy as trucks can come to the area only via the Bir Uttam CR Dutta Road. For filling up the opposite part of the site, sand will have to be carried manually or by laying a makeshift road. Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon visited the area around 2pm yesterday and said that he might give orders to partially open the Pathapath road after he visits the area again after Fazr prayers today. But before giving the order, the mayor said he would have to be convinced that vibrations from vehicular movement would not trigger any further subsidence and that the entire area had been secured well by dumping sufficient sand. Prof Fakhrul, who accompanied Khokon yesterday, advised the mayor to keep at least 35 feet of the Panthapath road off limits for vehicles. Traffic movement on the remaining 20 feet should not be dangerous. Md Salauddin, owner of the construction company, yesterday said the subsidences have significantly weakened their protective wall and further collapses may occur if there is heavy rain. Although Mayor Khokon has been holding Rajuk responsible for the disaster, officials of the city development authority thinks the construction company should be blamed. “Rajuk gives permission after examining designs on papers. But in this case, the construction company has made the mistakes,” said Shah Alam Chowdhury, a director of Rajuk. l

Lawmakers want involvement in budget making n Tribune Report Lawmakers demanded they be involved in the budget making procedure and to extend the duration of discussion over budget at the national parliament. They made the demand while speaking at a discussion programme jointly organised by Development Media Limited and Democratic Budget Movement at Ministers hostel’s IPD Conference Hall in the parliament building yesterday. Deputy speaker of the National Parliament Md Fazle Rabbi Miah, speaking as the chief guest, said actual economic growth would not be more than 7% this year and achieving 6.6 or 6.7% growth would be considered a success of the budget. “Since Taj Uddin’s Budget of 1974, no political leader made the budget. Till 1996 technocrats, bureaucrats or Army personnel made the budget which were not democratic,” he said adding after 1996 the situation has changed. Former Chief Whip Abdus Shahid also demanded extension of the duration of budget discussion at the parliament and in parliamentary committee. Md Afzal Hossain MP said: “Our regional problem can be solved by regional budget.” Nazmul Haque Prodhan MP said: “Parliament members have no scope of participating in the budget procedure; for this reason peo-

ple say it is not a public oriented budget.” Quazi Rosy MP said: “Our national budget would have to be coordinated with our expectation and what we get.” In the discussion, Fazilatunnesa Bappy MP proposed to arrange a mid-year meeting at the parliament to discuss the budget. Khwaja Maiduddin, journalist of Prothom Alo, said at the discussion program: “Ministry of Finance is at the helm of preparing national budgets but reflection of the people’s expectations is very less in the budgets. This has become a character of our national budgets.” Manwar Mustafa, task force member of Democratic Budget Movement, said: “Duration of the budget should be increased and a change in the financial year is important, but for those the constitution needs to be changed. It is time that the businesses which were given tax holidays be brought to account.” Abdur Rahman Harmachi of BDNews24.com said: “This year’s budget is very important for various reason. Because of the low fuel oil prices in the international market, the government has saved huge amounts of money this year. A padma bridge can be built with that money.” The discussion programme was presided over by the former Chief Whip Abdus Shahid and the programme was moderated by Nazrul Islam, Editor of newsnextbd.com. Among others, Advocate Tipu Sultan MP, Umme Razia Kajol MP were present at the programme. l

31 May, 2015  
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