The 15-storey building of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA) will be demolished after consultations with Chinese experts, said ASM Raihanul Ferdous, a project director of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk).
Speaking to The Independent yesterday (Tuesday), Ferdous said the BGMEA complex will be brought down through "controlled explosion method", with Chinese experts as consultants.
Three month ago, a team of Chinese experts visited the building and suggested that the building be knocked down through a controlled explosion, he added. “With the help of Chinese experts, we will start
demolition work of the building soon,” he said. It will be the first-ever controlled explosion in Bangladesh, in which a structure vanishes into plumes of smoke within seconds with the use of explosives.
However, the country still has not adopted any efficient high-rise demolition technique or formed any demolition cell under subsequent authorities, even though the skylines of its cities, especially the capital, have been marked by an increasing number of skyscrapers over the years.
Because of the lack of such a demolition technique, 16 labourers had died during the demolition of Rangs Bhaban, the first high-rise demolition of the country, in 2008.
Earlier, Rajuk officials, law enforcement officials and bulldozers appeared before the BGMEA Complex at 8pm yesterday (Tuesday), ready to bring the building down. But the authorities could not start the demolition work as the owners of most of the organisations are yet to vacate their assets from the building.
However, Rajuk granted BGMEA time till yesterday (Tuesday) evening to shift its belongings from its current headquarters in Hatirjheel Lake in the capital. The high-rise in the heart of the capital also houses several financial organisations, including banks.
Rajuk said they allowed EXIM Bank and Dhaka Bank till 5pm yesterday (Tuesday) to vacate their offices.
Talking to this correspondent, Fakhrul Islam Mamun, assistant manager of Dulal Brothers Ltd, a garments company on the 13th floor of the BGMEA complex, said they have started to shift their company"s assets from the building, but they require more time.
BGMEA has already moved most of its assets and offices to its new building at Uttara Sector 17, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on April 3.
Meanwhile, Rajuk sealed off each floor of the 15-storey building yesterday (Tuesday) evening. Ferdous said, “We sealed off each floor of the building, but the BGMEA people can collect their assets tomorrow as well.”
Earlier, BGMEA secured a final extension for their building on April 2, for a year and 10 days. The apex court"s order was effective from April 12 that year to implement a previous verdict by the Supreme Court that directed the BGMEA to demolish the building.
The building"s foundation was laid in 1998 by the then PM Sheikh Hasina, and it was opened in 2006 by the then premier Khaleda Zia. The High Court verdict had ordered the government to bulldoze the building within three months, saying it was built on land acquired through forgery and illegally filled with earth.