You might have seen the news raging across all channels and social media recently. The infamous four-lane 300ft Road in Purbachal is now broken into pieces. RAJUK has planned to expand it into eight-lanes causing an unwanted impediment of the numerous real estate projects in process across Purbachal. Thousands of customers are now facing peril, uncertain about whether their investments have failed. Let us analyze the situation to assess what went wrong and what could be!
What Could Have Been
Purbachal was an attempt of RAJUK to create the largest planned smart township, featuring all modern amenities and infrastructures. The plan was to make it sustainable by ensuring its very own water supply, sewerage system, stadium, power production, and waste treatment plant. Good housing, transport, health and education services would be affordable here. Several countries have applied for plots here for their diplomatic missions, which paves the way for the possibility of a diplomatic zone in the area. The government also floated the tender for a 142-storey tower hosting a convention center, which would be taller than Malaysia’s Petronas Towers after completion. The ambitious project took off in 1995.
What Went Wrong
Despite RAJUK’s regular eviction drives, illegal temporary settlements kept on popping up along the 300 ft Road and slowly made their way into the empty plots of Purbachal. It was the shortcut gateway to a number of districts located outside Dhaka, such as Narayanganj and Gazipur, which attracted a large number of people to buy plots and ongoing apartments there. Sadly, most buildings in the area are not approved by RAJUK and do not follow the BNBC codes. Many shady and renowned real estate companies have illegally continued construction there despite legal warnings. Additionally, private owners refused to demolish their buildings, and to worsen the matter, the commercial buildings are not budging either.
What Might Happen
Now that the road is broken and the pandemic is peaking, things are looking bleak for those who invested in real estate here.The deadline being in 2018, 2021 did not bring about the township we were promised with only 67% land developed. One line of the Metro Rail project will run from Hazrat Shahjalal Airport through Purbachal to the other end. Once commuting becomes easier, more unplanned residential buildings will pop up there without electricity, gas, and water. Already, at least 25 completed projects have been labeled as hazardous and were demolished. More may follow suit.
The High Court has questioned about the five times some drastic changes were made in the plan and design of Purbachal. Urban planners and architects are also at a dismay about the expansion of Dhaka city towards Purbachal. A part of the Bhawal forest lies within the township area, but its existence is now threatened due to illegal real estate activities. Environmental activists have complained against RAJUK for destroying rivers and forest areas to create a commercial city here. Investors of land and apartments are now retracting from here.
Overall, it seems people are not too happy with what Purbachal aspired to be and eventually became. It might become just another unplanned concrete jungle with lack of open space. However, all hope is not lost. RAJUK has assured plot owners that work will be completed by this year. If the plot owners join hands with reliable real estate companies such as bti, quality land development and planned construction are possible. For now, the prospects of real estate in Purbachal are questionable. Only time will tell what the area might look like in the future.