Rajuk creates ground for an unnecessary controversy
RAJDHANI Unnayan Kartripakkha, it seems, cannot stay above and beyond controversy, especially when it comes to allotment of plots, so suggests its decision to not draw lottery for five categories of prospective allottees — lawyers, engineers, physicians, agriculturists and journalists —under its Jhilmil residential project at Keraniganj. According to a report published in New Age on Thursday, the city development authorities on Wednesday allotted 520 plots through lottery under the categories of remittance earners, businesspeople and industrialists, private service holders, private teachers, personalities of art, literature and sports, families of freedom fighters, and officials and employees of government and autonomous bodies. The Rajuk chairman was quoted in the report as saying that ‘the state minister for housing and public works, Abdul Mannan Khan, will talk to the professional bodies to decide what the way would be to pick allottees under the five categories.’ On the possibility of lottery being used as a means to pick the allottees, the state minister, who was present at the programme where the allotments were made, said ‘if your leaders tell me that the lottery will have to be drawn, I will do so.’
Suffice it to say, such an arrangement is highly likely to give rise to controversy and/or raise questions of favouritism. First of all, it is common knowledge that most professional organisations in Bangladesh are inexorably polarised along partisan lines. Moreover, with the change in government, the mantle of influence generally passes on to the groups of professionals that are proven or perceived to be loyal to the ruling party. Needless to say, such groups are more often than not perceived to be promoting partisan interest rather than the interest of the professions that they represent. As such the Rajuk decision that the state minister would ‘decide what the way would be to pick allottees’ upon discussion with leaders of the professional bodies under the aforesaid five categories looks destined to touch off partisan bickering. It is likely to get worse even such discussions lead to distribution of plots through any other means than lottery. Besides, such a decision could appear motivated in the first place, one must add, for justifiable reasons. When the allotment in other categories can be done through lottery, there is hardly any reason why the same cannot be done for these five groups of professionals. As such, it could be construed as the incumbents’ way of distributing favours.
Overall, Rajuk may have created the ground for an unnecessary controversy, apparently at the behest of the incumbents. Hence, it would be well-advised to revoke its decision and employ lottery as a means to allot plots in the Jhilmil residential area for all categories.
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