REHAB fair begins with trading of unauthorised projectsStaff Correspondent
Minister for communication and railway Obaidul Quader on Thursday said local real estate and housing companies should have been consulted before signing a deal with India’s Sahara Pariwar.
The minister also expressed his doubt whether foreign investment in the country’s real estate sector was at all necessary for Bangladesh at this moment.
‘Had there been representatives from the real estate sector at the time of signing the deal with Sahara, misgivings would not have arisen,’ said Obaidul Quader while inaugurating the Summer Housing Fair 2012 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city.
The minister said, ‘We should have discussed among ourselves whether we need foreign investment in the real estate and housing sector.’
Hoping that the ministry and the Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh would work together, the minister said, ‘None of the plans will be effective if it is devised without suggestions and opinions of the local business community.’
The outspoken minister also asked the local real estate companies to follow rules and regulations to help build a planned city, preserving environment and ecology.
The minister also came down hard on the fair organizers for not following the time schedule of the inaugural ceremony of the fair.
The government of Bangladesh and Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha on May 23 signed a memorandum of understanding with Indian infrastructure development company Sahara India Pariwar to develop a ‘new city’ near Dhaka with ‘affordable housing for low income group people’ that irked the local companies.
Sahara India Pariwar chairman Subrata Roy Sahara said his group would initially invest some 120 to 125 million US dollars in the country’s real estate sector for which he sought some one lakh acres of land in the vicinity of capital Dhaka from the government.
However, local real estate and housing companies have strongly criticized and protested at the government move to allow a foreign company to invest in the country’s real estate sector, saying it would harm the country’s economy.
The REHAB is organizing the four-day housing fair with participation of a total of 161 land and housing development companies and six building material manufactures showcasing their plots and apartments.
Meanwhile, RAJUK said most of the land development projects which were participating in the fair did not have its approval, but the REHAB said it had asked its members not to showcase unapproved projects in the fair.
Only 28 out of 263 projects which were showcased in the last summer fair of 2011 had the RAJUK approval. The High Court had also directed the RAJUK and other officials concerned to stop trading of unauthorized projects in the fair.
Even then the city development authorities could not rein in the trading of the unauthorized projects in the fair of 2011.
‘This year we have given conditional approval to few more projects,’ RAJUK member (estate) Sheikh Abdul Mannan Khan told New Age.
He said the number of the newly-approved projects would not cross ten whereas some 161 housing companies are displaying their products in the fair.
Sheikh Abdul Mannan said a vigilance team of the RAJUK would continuously monitor the fair to see whether any unapproved projects were being sold in the fair.
‘We will take stern action against those who will sell unauthorized projects in the fair,’ he added.
When contacted, REHAB general secretary Murad Iqbal Chowdhury said they have asked their members not to showcase unauthorized projects in the fair.
He, however, asked people to ensure whether the projects are approved by the RAJUK before purchasing plots or apartments.
The fair will continue till June 17.
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