Rajuk boss resigns, retracts a day after

Reason learnt to be row with state minister over contract of Uttara apartment project

Nurul Huda

A day after tendering resignation over a row with a state minister, Rajuk Chairman Nurul Huda yesterday said he was not leaving until his tenure expires.

It all began on Sunday at a meeting where Abdul Mannan Khan, state minister for housing and public works, came down hard on the Rajuk boss, sources say.

The state minister had put pressure on Nurul Huda to give the construction job of a portion of Uttara Apartment Project (third phase) to a joint venture of local company Sikdar Real Estate, Dubai-based Scorn and South Korean Donga.

Nasrul Hamid Bipu, a ruling party lawmaker who is believed be influencing Mannan to favour Donga-Scorn-Sikdar, and Ron Haque Sikdar, managing director of Sikdar Real Estate, were present at the meeting, ministry sources say.

As Rajuk chairman disagreed, the minister started shouting at him.

Later in the day, Nurul Huda through his personal officer sent his resignation letter to Housing Secretary Khandaker Shawkat Hossain. However, both the secretary and the state minister deny receiving the letter.

Talking to The Daily Star over the phone yesterday, the secretary said the Rajuk chairman had primarily decided to quit but submitted no resignation letter to date.

Yesterday morning, the Rajuk chief told reporters at the ministry that he had submitted his resignation citing health reasons.

He refused to say why he withdrew his resignation, but sources say he did that at the request of ministry officials.

The construction of 6,600 apartments under the project in the capital’s Uttara sector-18 was inaugurated on March 28, 2012. The consortium of Donga and local firm Ena Properties are constructing its 79 buildings.

The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) and Public Works Department are jointly implementing the scheme.

Its total cost has been estimated at Tk 10,000 crore.

In September last year, Donga-Scorn-Sikdar became the lone bidder to submit papers for the Tk 5,500-crore task to construct 144 buildings of the project.

But, according to sources, tender evaluation committees are yet to give it a nod, saying Sikdar Real Estate has hardly any experience to do such a big job.

Contacted, Nasrul, also president of Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB), claimed he has nothing to do with the project and he knows nothing about it. He was not present at the meeting.

The lawmaker also said he had gone to the ministry only for five minutes on a purpose related to REHAB.

Yesterday, both the minister and Rajuk chairman denied any disagreement between them. They even visited the newly inaugurated Hatirjheel project together.

“We worked with him [Rajuk chairman] over the last three and a half years and we also hope to work together in future,” the state minister told reporters in the morning before the visit. “There is no conflict between us.”

Talking to The Daily Star, Ron Haque of Sikdar Real Estate denied attending the meeting and said he had gone to the ministry on Sunday on a different purpose.

He said Donga and Scorn are Sikdar’s partners with 75 percent share and have experience to do the job.

Source: The Daily Star

One Response to Rajuk boss resigns, retracts a day after

  1. Sadruddin Hossain

    Here we go again. Seems that the Awamis simply cannot live without corruption. It’s like humans cannot live without oxygen. Greed —- greed —- greed.

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