Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association wants to use its illegally-built headquarters in Dhaka for one more year until construction completion of its new office at Uttara plot given by the government at a concessionary rate.
A six-month deadline given by the Supreme Court to demolish the illegal BGMEA building expires tomorrow.
‘We have filed a petition with the Supreme Court seeking one more year to relocate our headquarters as the construction of our new office will take one year,’ BGMEA president Md Siddiqur Rahman said at a press briefing at the association office in the city on Saturday.
He said that the apex court had ordered to demolish the building after September 11 and the BGMEA was respectful to the court verdict. ‘From the very first day of the verdict of the apex court, we have been saying that we will relocate our office as soon as the construction of the new building is completed. It will now take one more year,’ Siddiq said.
The BGMEA president hoped that the apex court would consider the application taking into account the contribution of the sector to the country’s economy.
Siddiq said that the government had allocated 5.5 bighas of land to the BGMEA and the consultant had been appointed to construct the building.
He reasoned that the BGMEA could not relocate its headquarters within the timeframe given by the apex court as the trade body had failed to rent a building suitable for running its regular activities with 300 staff.
‘I extend my gratitude to prime minister Sheikh Hasina as she allocated the land to the BGMEA at half of the market prices in sector 13 of Uttara in Dhaka,’ Siddiq said.
On Thursday, the BGMEA paid Tk 11 crore to the government as the price of the land, though the market price of the land was Tk 22 crore.
BGMEA vice-presidents Mohammed Nasir and Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu also attended the briefing.
On October 3, 2010, the High Court Division in a suo moto order asked the government to explain why it should not be directed to demolish the BGMEA Bhaban as it had been built illegally on government land in complete violation of the laws for the conservation of environment and the capital’s wetlands.
A New Age report published on October 2, 2010 under the headline ‘No plan to demolish unauthorised BGMEA building soon’ had brought the issue to the fore.
On April 3, 2011, the High Court Division had ordered the government to demolish building within 90 days and termed it as ‘a cancerous growth’ eclipsing the capital’s landmark lake Hatirjheel.
On June 2, 2016, the apex court rejected BGMEA’s appeal against the HC order.
Later, the apex court rejected BGMEA’s review petition and gave six-month timeframe till September 11 this year to relocate its headquarters.
After getting six month from the apex court on March 12, the BGMEA leaders told media that they would shift their headquarters within the time as they respect the court verdict.
In 1998, the then prime minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the BGMEA building while the structure was inaugurated in 2006 by the then prime minister Khaleda Zia.
Source: New Age