Now shows ray of hope for Metrorail
Zarif Mahmud: Uttara Residential City III Phase project started in 1999. Current work progress is 83 percent as per Rajdhani Unnyan Kartipakkha (RAJUK). Total plots under the project are 8,295. Of them, 95 percent plots have been allotted. However, in 24 years, there has been no development in the project area. Instead of housing in the plot, some have built nurseries. Most of the plots are lying vacant. Plotter owners are dreaming anew after the inauguration of the Dream Metrorail.
According to sources, the RAJUK undertook the Uttara Residential City (Phase III) project in 1999 to reduce traffic and population pressure in the main capital along with meeting housing needs. Even in long 24 years, this project did not speed up the construction of housing in the area. Uttara Phase III project is divided into four sectors (15-18). Out of these, Rajuk Apartments Project is being implemented in Sector 18. The rest is the residential sector.
Almost all the plots under the scheme were allotted more than a 20years ago. But most of the plots are not demarcated. The plot was not explained to many. Many plots do not even have access roads. There is no drainage system. Soil filling work is also remaining at different places of each block. Except for the apartment block, the soil filling work has not been completed in any block. The work of 165 km road has not been completed. Plot-to-plot connection road is not done as yet.
Buildings have come up on some of the plots that have been conveyed. However, residents are unable to stay due to lack of civic facilities. The work of 12 bridges is not completely completed. 40 percent of soil filling work is left. Schools, colleges, mosques, temples, pagodas did not work. Only one church has been built. There is no kitchen market. The work of the lake is also incomplete. There is no water supply system. No gas supply system has been kept in the pipeline. The plotters are just waiting when they will understand the plot.
However, after the inauguration of the Metrorail, new activities have started in the project area. Rajuk has taken new steps to solve some problems.
Boubazar is a few minuteswalk from Uttara Madhya Station. The market has been closed for a week. A few shops including raw market, stationery, AC-fridge repair have been built here. All around the field is empty. Nurseries have been established in some places.
Prakash Sarkar has given an AC-fridge repair shop here. He said that there has been no development here for a long time. Plot allotment is not completed yet. However, after the movement of the metro rail, this market was developed under the name Boubazar; daily essential shopping is done here including raw market. Hopefully people will start settling here now.
It can be seen on the surface, plots have been allotted in sectors 15, 16, 17 and 18 of Uttara North Station. However, civil facilities are not yet developed. In particular, there is no gas, sewage line and drainage system. Locals are using water under their own management. Cylinder gas bought at extra cost is the only hope for cooking.
While spoke with Ghulam Farooqat Uttara Sector 15,said that the third phase of Uttara is yet to become habitable. The transport system is good here, there is electricity facility. Apart from this, there is no gas, water and sewage system.
Sick of mosquito bites Residents of Uttara III Phase said that mosquito generation is several times higher in the evening than during the day. Burning mosquito coils at night does not help. Cleaning the drains in the area might have helped to get rid of the mosquitoes. There is no designated place to dump garbage. Wherever they can, they are throwing garbage from homes and businesses. It is polluting the environment.
Mosquitoes are born from stagnant water. Garbage is everywhere. Numerous small and large canals. Dirty water from various industries and houses accumulates in these drains. Aminul Islam lives in a house near Metrorail Uttara North station. He is the caretaker of a newly built house. Regarding the origin of mosquitoes, Aminul said, mosquitoes bite not only at night, but also during the day. Even burning the coil does not work.
Although some settlements have been developed in Rajuk Uttara Phase III area, there is no good system of raw market. A raw market was established in Uttara Sector 18 and Boubazar, but it was demolished two days after Rajuk. As a result, the residents of these areas have to go to Uttara Sector 15 Khalpar or 12.
Hossain Sikder, a resident of Mirpur sector 15, told that one of the problems we have living here is that there is not enough raw market. From Uttara Uttar station of Metrorail, one has to go to Khalpar to do bazaar-sadai. Rickshaw or auto hire costs Tk 30-40. To buy Tk 20 worth of chilies, many times you have to pay Tk 40 and twice Tk 80 for travel.
What rehab says
The Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) has called for the plots of the third phase of Uttara to be habitable as soon as possible.
Rehab vice president (first) Kamal Mahmud told, will people be able to live in the way Rajuk has acquired the land and allocated it? This question is not mine, it is the question of the people who got the plot.
I think no one will be able to live here even in two to four years. Metrorail started, but Uttara Phase III plots not habitable. Metrorail is a great achievement of Govt. But there is no civic service where the metro rail has started. No development. A thousand plans have been passed here, but no civic benefits. There are no schools and colleges, no medical facilities, no water, no gas.
He further said that when the buzz of construction of Metrorail started, the cost of land in Uttara III phase was Rs 40 to 50 lakh per kata. Metrorail is running, now the price of land is not below one crore rupees. Here is the project created. But unfortunately, we cannot bring home the achievements of Metrorail. Rajuk could not even sell the flats in its own building, which it built in the third phase. Rajuk allotted thousands of plots but could not take any people there. The allotted plot is not habitable yet.
According to Rajuk, the project was supposed to be completed by 2010. The term has been extended three times. At the time of starting the project, the cost was estimated at Tk 2044 crore. Due to the long process, the expenditure was increased by another Tk 296 crore, and the expenditure was estimated at Tk 2,340 crore. 24 years have passed since then. But many plots are still vacant. In some plots nurseries have been constructed instead of housing.
In 2009, Rajuk undertook the ‘North Apartment Project’ as a part of this project. The project was supposed to be completed by 2016. But that didn’t end either. Some flats have residents but they are disappointed because of lack of civic facilities. However, Metrorail is spreading new light in this residential area.
Hafizul Islam, the former director of the project told, construction of buildings has started in our plots. There will be many more buildings ahead. Building work is going on in sector 18. B and C block is also in progress. Construction will start on more plots next year. Some commercial plots are offered. Seven towers have been built in seven blocks.
A canal has also been constructed in Wasa. Some plots are damaged due to canals. They are being replaced. Some are allocated. Now the work is going on in full swing. Due to Metrorail, the pace of housing has increased in the plot.
He also said that some work is still left. 30 percent of the lake work is left. Total plot 8 thousand 295. 95 percent has been allocated. Housing construction is ongoing in 100 plots of the project. Due to the inauguration of the Metrorail, the construction of housing in the project plots has begun. But gas connection has not been given, because the government is not giving new gas connection.
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