REHAB Housing Fair Kicks off in Dhaka, Bangladesh

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REHAB Housing Fair Kicks off in Dhaka, Bangladesh

REHAB Housing fair kicks off

Rajuk barred from the five-day housing show

Visitors flock to a five-day housing fair that began at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre yesterday.Photo: STAR

The country's biggest housing fair kicked off yesterday at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.

More than 200 developers are displaying their land and apartment projects at the five-day fair, which will remain open from 10am to 8pm.

At the opening ceremony, Abdul Mannan Khan, state minister for housing and public works, urged the realtors not to display any unapproved project at the fair.

Punitive actions against the wrongdoers will help realtors do business proudly and regain confidence, he said.

However, in a rare move, the realtors did not allow Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) to set up booths on the fair premises, which has created scope to display unapproved projects.

In previous shows, Rajuk set up stalls to carry out random inspections and take punitive actions against any illegal housing scheme on display.

In a recent letter, the Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) asked Rajuk not to "interfere" in its five-day show.

However, Md Nurul Huda, chairman of Rajuk, told The Daily Star earlier that the REHAB letter has no basis and they will as usual carry out inspections and drives against illegal housing schemes on display at the show.

But this correspondent did not find any representative from Rajuk at the fair.

The media information wing of the show also confirmed that there would be no stall by Rajuk and neither its drives.

The Rajuk chairman also did not attend the inaugural ceremony even though he was supposed to.

A number of illegal housing projects were allegedly being displayed at the show in violation of a High Court order, in the same manner as it occurred in December 2011 and in June last year.

However, Anisuzzaman Bhuiyan Rana, REHAB general secretary, said there is no scope of displaying illegal projects at the show.

"In our database, we have all information of the 220 stalls and the projects they are offering," he told The Daily Star by phone.

A customer can crosscheck information at the 'help desk' of REHAB before booking a project, he added.

"Even after that, if we find any illegal project, we will take punitive action against them," Rana said.

The HC in a judgment in June 2011 declared a total of 78 private housing projects in and around Dhaka city illegal.

In December the same year, the court banned publishing advertisements of any unauthorised housing project in the print and electronic media.

The HC also asked the government to take stern legal action against publicity and earth-filling for such projects.

The HC directives are meant for REHAB, the housing ministry, Rajuk, the land ministry and the Department of Environment.

Rana also said many housing-related problems were solved after a new executive committee took charge of the association two months ago.