The plot holders at Purbachal are likely to be dawdled for some more years, as the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakhya (RAJUK) plans to end the project without developing necessary roads, footpaths, and water and sewerage systems, insiders said.
Amid the move, the Ministry of Housing and Public Works (MoH&PW) has raised questions over the plan to complete the project without completion of all the earmarked development works, a ministry official said.
The ministry has formed an eight-member committee, headed by one of its additional secretaries, to find out the reasons behind the RAJUK's move, he added.
Meanwhile, the RAJUK has recently sought revision of its long-struggling Purbachal model town development project for the second time from its line ministry MoH&PW.
The capital city developer has proposed to cut the project cost by Tk 28.02 billion to Tk 49.80 billion from the previous cost of Tk 77.82 billion.
According to the proposal, the RAJUK now wants to scrap some earmarked works, including those on the development of roads and footpaths and water supply and sewerage systems, maintenance and renovation of roads and some other structures, telecommunications, and setting up of a 50-megawatt power station, mosque and a central island.
The Purbachal model town is the biggest planned township in Bangladesh with some 6,227.36 acres of land areas, located in the north-eastern side of Dhaka city.
The township will include about 26,000 residential plots of different sizes as well as 62,000 apartments with all necessary infrastructure and urban facilities.
A senior MoH&PW official told the FE that project completion without completing all the assigned works is unfair.
"Our ministry has formed a committee, comprising representatives of some ministries. Now the committee will scrutinise the proposal and the real picture in the project area. Then we will take decision on the RAJUK's proposal."
He said if the RAJUK now scraps the project without completing all necessary works, the plot holders would not be able to construct their homes.
"If the roads, footpaths, water and sewerage systems and other necessary facilities are not developed, how will people reside there?"
When asked, a RAJUK official said they want to complete the main project now. "The remaining works will be completed through public private partnership (PPP) initiative or through new projects in the coming days."
The RAJUK undertook the Purbachal model town project 26 years ago in 1995 at a cost of Tk 33.17 billion for developing some 6,227.36 acres of land for allocating plots among people from different walks of life. The project was planned to be completed by June 2010. In 2009, the city developer started providing plots among the beneficiaries.
However, the government revised the project in 2010, extending the cost by 135 per cent to Tk 77.82 billion and the tenure up to June 2013.
Due to repeated failures to complete the model town development project, the government extended its tenure six times - up to June 2022.
But the RAJUK has now sought revision of its project by cutting the estimation to Tk 49.80 billion, as it is scrapping some components from the development project proposal (DPP). The agency now wants to go for completing the project without completing the assigned works.