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10 July, 2021 07:30:34 PM

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Irregularities in Ashrayan project: Show zero tolerance towards those involved

Although landless people are supposed to be given free housing, there are allegations that money has been taken from them. Reportedly, some landless people have had to pay for food for construction workers. Due to construction defects and use of substandard materials, cracks have already appeared in different houses in different districts
Majhar Mannan
Irregularities in Ashrayan project:  Show zero tolerance towards those involved

Bangladesh became independent in 1971 under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur through a bloody war of 9 months.
Father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dreamed of building a poverty-free state. His political philosophy was to end exploitation and deprivation and to establish a non-discriminatory society.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the worthy daughter of Bangabandhu, is constantly working to fulfill Bangabandhu's dream.

She has set a historic precedent by creating opportunities for a better life for the homeless and landless people of the country. For a homeless person, a house is a dream and it is a handful of heavenly bliss to him. A person who does not have a piece of land of his own cannot live in comfort wherever he is. He wants a specific place with his name and address that will be his dream nest. For landless people affected by river erosion and disasters, owning a home is more than a dream. By providing houses to the landless and homeless people, the prime minister has fulfilled their dreams on the one hand and assured them of a healthy life on the other.

At the beginning of the birth centenary of father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, 8,85,622 landless and homeless families were enlisted and the prime minister announced to give houses to each of them. Each family is given two-room house with 1.21 katha khas land ownership as a gift from the prime minister. These houses have been given to them completely free of cost. This is an extraordinary event and at the same time it is rare to see so many families rehabilitated. The way rehabilitation is going on it will be possible to provide the houses to 9 lakh families within short time.

The prime minister has chosen the design. Each family has been issued land deed and registration. If the value of land and house is combined, then each family has gotten 10 lakh taka. Empowerment of women has been taken into consideration in providing registration to land and house. The names of the husband and wife have been kept in the land deed.  The prime minister said, it is a great gift and great festival for the landless and homeless people of Bangladesh. The prime minister further announced that during the Mujib year and the golden jubilee of independence, not a single person in Bangladesh will be homeless.

The Awami League formed the government in 1996 and then initiatives were taken to rehabilitate the homeless families displaced by cyclone and river erosion. 3,85,473 families have been rehabilitated from 1997 to 2020. The life of these landless people were miserable and they lived a nomadic life. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given a specific address to all these helpless people. All these people have found a shelter where they can now live a secure life. After getting the houses, all the helpless people have expressed their limitless gratitude to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has already become a role model of development. She has realized very well that real development is never possible without the development of backward communities. The prime minister's love for these helpless and  underprivileged people of the country shows how great a leader she is.  The construction of houses for the homeless people is undoubtedly a matter of challenge. The houses have been made following a nice plan. The project areas include paved road, schools, mosques, madrass and markets.

The government has shown enough sincerity to keep the poor and helpless people a little better. Despite the limited resources of the country, the government is moving ahead with the project in a sincere manner. Under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, a landmark contribution has been made to change the destiny of the helpless and common people of the country. The government has set up a rehabilitation centre for refugees in Bhasanchar. No class discrimination is going to be noticed in this housing project. The vedas and the hijra classes have also been brought under rehabilitation. Tea workers are being rehabilitated.

Sheikh Hasina is a successful and visionary leader in the world. She has created dreams of new life among helpless people. This gift of the prime minister is a great means of survival for the helpless people. Her gift will be a unique example of humanism in the history of the world. The prime minister's gift is not just a house, it also involves the dignity of a family.  Apart from providing houses, all these helpless people will be brought under training and made self-reliant. This will alleviate poverty and ensure economic security.

This rehabilitation programme will empower backward communities, eradicate hunger, poverty and inequality and bring them out of the shackles of ignorance. Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, had set up a rehabilitation centre for the homeless people in Cox's Bazar. 600 families have been accommodated in the 20 buildings. The prime minister has given shelter to 12 lakh Rohingyas. Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing economic countries in the world today. If the development of the country continues under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh will be able to join the list of advanced countries in the next few years.

However, picture of various irregularities in the Asrayan project have been published in various newspapers and media. Although landless people are supposed to be given free housing, there are allegations that money has been taken from them and it is being investigated. Newspapers have also reported that some landless people have had to pay for food for construction workers. Due to construction defects and use of substandard materials, cracks have already appeared in different houses in different districts. It has also been alleged that the materials used in the construction of the houses were not fully utilized as per the design. Victims claim that they are facing various problems due to negligence and irregularities in the construction of houses and the houses are already facing various problems.

The government has launched a field investigation into the irregularities in the construction of the houses since the pictures were published in the newspapers and the government has said that zero tolerance will be shown to those involved. The government has decided to take legal action against those involved, as well as rebuilding or repairing damaged or homes. A team from the Prime Minister's Office has decided to visit the Ashrayan project and they will investigate and report on the spot and necessary action will be taken according to that report. If the house building policy had been followed properly, these houses would not have collapsed easily or problems would not have occurred in such a short time.

However, houses have been damaged in some places due to recent heavy rains, floods and other natural calamities, but they will be repaired soon and brought to the right level. However, the whole nation expects a fair and impartial investigation to be carried out at the field level and action to be taken against those involved as per rules. We all hope that the dignity of the gift given by the prime minister will remain intact and the dreams of the poor will not be shattered.

The writer is Assistant Professor, B A F Shaheen College Kurmitola, Dhaka Cantonment.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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