Thursday, August 9, 2012

Modhumoti Model Town illegal: SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a High Court verdict that had declared Modhumoti Model Town illegal, a housing project of Metro Makers and Developers Limited in a flood-flow zone at Aminbazar in Savar.
Metro Makers and Developers Limited, a concern of Bhaia Group, told the court that it had prepared about 3,500 housing plots on 550 acres of land in the project and about 3,000 of the plots had already been handed over.
In February the court completed the hearing in the appeals but did not deliver the verdict then.
The details of the Appellate Division’s verdict were not pronounced in the open court.
Former attorney general Mahmudul Islam, Syeda Rizwana Hasan and Iqbal Kabir represented the BELA, Ajmalul Hossain and Rokanuddn Mahmud defended the Metro Maker Developers and Madhumati while Rafique-ul Haque and Abdur Razzaq appeared for the plot purchasers.
The High Court had declared Modhumoti Model Town housing project illegal, the site of which was Mouza Bila and Baliarpur near Aminbazaar, and pointed out that its location violated certain provisions of the Town Improvement Act 1953 and RAJUK’s master plan.
The authorities have been directed to protect the sub-flood flow zone near Aminbazaar and check any further earth filling by Modhumoti Model Town.
The Modhumoti Model Town housing project has also been directed to refrain from filling earth in any more plots without RAJUK’s permission, said the HC verdict.
It also said that considering the interest of numerous purchasers of plots in the Madhumati Model Town project, the court was not inclined to direct the authorities to re-excavate the plots in the sub-flood flow zone.
According to the BELA, the Modhumoti Model Town project filled up 550 acres of the sub-flood flow zone in defiance of the laws. Metro Makers continued land filling and selling of plots despite RAJUK’s repeated cautionary notices.
Plot buyers of the project are now worried about their fate. BELA Lawyer said it would be known after the full text of the SC verdict had been obtained.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

RAJUK sent Banani Plot Scam case to ACC

RAJUK Bhaban

RAJUK only a couple of months ago passed the issue of controversial allotment of 55 housing plots in Banani, Dhaka to influential BNP people to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Although the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) holds the legal authority to cancel allotment of a plot obtained through false declaration, it referred relevant documents to ACC in the first week of April to investigate alleged anomalies following a parliamentary committee query in February this year.
In March 2005, RAJUK floated an open invitation but considered only the powerful ministers, state ministers and lawmakers and politically-loyal businessmen and intellectuals to allot each a 5-katha plot at the 20-bigha housing scheme. It even earth-filled a portion of a nearby lake to create at least seven lakeside plots for “important” persons of the then BNP-Jamaat alliance government. The action raised allegation of politicisation in the allotment process and the demand for cancellation of so-called Banani BNP Palli close to NAM flats.
 In July 2010, RAJUK sent the National Board of Revenue (NBR) the allotment documents for scrutiny of the Halafnama (undertaking) on wealth declaration, as it has no mechanism to verify those. While the NBR has not yet provided any feedback on the authenticity of the wealth declarations. Asked why RAJUK sent the documents to NBR only two years ago and had been silent since 2007, Nurul Huda said perhaps the then officials could explain that. Responding to a query that why Rajuk take halafnama when it cannot check it, he said it was only a safeguard and they only refer those to NBR against which questions were raised. He said they referred the controversial plot documents to ACC as an “additional measure”. Asked how they can annul an anomalous plot allotment when most of the plots by now have been developed with multi-storied residential buildings, Huda said, “It all depends on top-level government decision.”

Following are the former ministers, state ministers and lawmakers who got plot allotment:
Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, Hafiz Uddin, Tariqul Islam, Abdullah Al Noman, A Matin Chowdhury, Fazlur Rahman Patal, Lutfuzzaman Babar, S Alamgir Kabir, Lutfor Rahman Khan Azad, M Ruhul Kuddus Talukdar, Asadul Habib Dulu, Barkatullah Bulu, Mir Mohammad Nasir Uddin, ANM Ehsanul Haq Milon, Selima Rahman, Rezaul Karim. Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui, Mojibur Rahman Sarwar, Habibul Islam Habib, Md Alauddin, M Naser Rahman, Major (retd) Sayeed Eskander, Shahidul Islam, Moshiur Rahman, Shahidul Alam Talukder, Shajahan Chowdhury, Mojibor Rahman Monzu, Md Hafiz Ibrahim, Nazim Uddin Alam, M Ilias Ali, Fazlul Haq Milon, Moazzem Hossain Alal, Abul Hossain Khan, Abdul Hai, Abul Khayer Bhuiyan, Shahiduddin Chowdhury Annie, Alamgir Haider Khan, Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu, Salahuddin Ahmed, Kabir Hossain, Nadim Mostafa, Khairul Kabir Khokon, Shamsuddin Ahmed Eshak and Habibul Islam Habib. Imtiaz Uddin Ahmed, son of former president Iajuddin Uddin Ahmed, former adviser to foreign ministry Reaz Rahman, Masuda Akram, sister-in-law of former housing minister Mirza Abbas, former mayor of Rajshahi Mizanur Rahman Minu, businessmen Mofikul Hasan Tripty, Ahsan Habib, Hasan Reza, former DU vice-chancellor Prof Maniruzzaman Miah, Saleh Ahmmed got plots under other categories. Former lawmakers Hafizuddin Ahmed of Jatiya Party and Hamida Banu Shova of Awami League also got plots.

Excerpts of the report published in the Daily Star by Tawfique Ali, edited for you by myRealEstateBD.

Friday, July 27, 2012

200 plots allotted illegally in Tejgaon Industrial Area; Probe Findings on Fraud

Hotirjheel Project Area

Probe body found massive irregularities in the process of plot allotment in the Hatirjheel, Begunbari and Tejgaon industrial areas of Dhaka city.

The concerned authorities have distributed the lands among chosen persons on political and personal considerations, according to probe findings. 2 hundred such plots were allotted to individuals and organizations at nominal price. Sources said, land worth taka 1 crore per bigha was allotted in exchange for taka 1 lakh only.

The government is considering taking back the lands scrapping the allotments. But the process of redemption is yet to be finalized.

According to a report published in a leading vernacular daily, the corruption through which the plots were allotted came to the light in the findings of a committee which was formed in pursuance of a High Court order for investigating the matter.

On May 22, 2012 the High Court had asked the cabinet secretary to form a probe committee to look into the matter of illegal plot allotment in city’s Tejgaon industrial area. The court also asked the authorities concerned to submit a list of the persons who has got allotment there.

Later, a committee was formed headed by external resources division secretary Ikbal Mahmud. The committee members are LGRD secretary Abu Alam Md Sahid Khan, Law secretary Jahirul Islam and a joint secretary of Home Ministry.

As per the court order, the committee is to scan the issues of legality and transparency in the allotment process. It is also to find out any corruption committed in the process. It is scrutinizing whether permission of the Ministry of Environment and Forests was taken before the allotment.

The committee held its fourth meeting yesterday. After coming out of the meeting, Ikbal Mahmud said the officials concerned and the beneficiaries in connivance with each other misappropriated the government lands in the name of allotments. He said the committee has identified serious irregularities in the process.

Allotment of the lands was awarded to 200 persons and organizations. He, however, said the committee members are holding more scrutiny to determine whether the plots were allotted after adhering to rules and fulfilling terms and conditions. He said after detailed investigation, they will submit their findings to the court. Asked whether findings will be disclosed to media, he said they will have to take court’s permission in this regard.

Committee member Abu Alam Md Sahid Khan said they have come to know from the investigation that not a single plot was allotted taking clearance from environment ministry. The plots worth crores of taka were allotted at the behest of the concerned minister’s instruction at nominal prices, he added. He said the authority did not publish any advertisement inviting application from interested persons to distribute the plots through favoritism and nepotism. Sahid Khan said they will file a petition to the HC seeking extension of deadline for the committee as more time is necessary for thorough investigation.

LGRD secretary said the investigation which is pending now involves plot allotment to 11 news media houses and nine other organizations including telecom and RMG factory, flower mill and filling station. No advertisement was published, permission was not taken from Department of Environment (DoE) and proper value of the land was not fixed in case of allotment of the above organizations.

Another reliable source said On May 22, a division bench of HC comprising Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Justice Jahangir Hossain Selim directed the concerned authorities to form a committee to investigate corruption in the plot allotment in the area.

On that day, former editor of Daily Jaijaidin Shafiq Rehman and two former state ministers Ziaul Haq Zia and Major (retd) Kamrul Islam appeared before the court. On May 16, the court summoned Shafiq Rehman to appear before the court on May 22 for clarifying his role in taking allotment of plot illegally in Tejgaon industrial area. The court also directed opposition BNP lawmakers Ziaul Haq Zia and Major (retd) Kamrul Islam to submit statements swearing in affidavit disclosing their amount of properties located in the capital.

The court asked the Public Works Department to see whether the environment and surroundings are affected for plot allotment. And also ordered Anti Corruption Commission to examine if there was any corruption in plot allotment process.

This report is excerpts of the news published in the daily sun. Report edited by

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