There is no momentum in the Slaughterhouse Conservation Project

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The project to preserve the monuments of the Great Liberation War was approved five years ago.

However, the Ministry of Liberation War has not finished its work yet. This project does not have a regular director, there are also complications with the land. The officials of the ministry say that the manpower required to implement the project is not available. Only when the day comes, everyone gets excited about it.

The project was undertaken to preserve 281 slaughterhouses spread across the country as well as construct memorials there. However, so far 35 slaughterhouses have been preserved and the construction of monuments has been completed. However, the project was supposed to be completed in June 2021. That is, the term expired almost two and a half years ago. Despite this, 12 percent of the work has been completed. In various meetings of the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs, anger was expressed about the slowness of project implementation, but the situation did not improve much. An official of the Ministry handles the work of the director of the project as an additional responsibility. Those who have served as directors before also had additional responsibilities.

The current director of the Slaughterhouse Conservation and Monument Construction Project. Jahangir Alam (part-time additional duty) told Prothom Alo that he has been given the job of project manager as an additional duty. He said, the implementation of the project is not possible as it was designed. On the one hand land is not available, on the other hand there is not so much land. On the other hand, there are tombs and temples here and there.

The project named ‘Conservation and construction of memorials for the massacre sites used by the Pakistani invading forces during the Great War of Liberation in 1971’ was approved in the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on September 11, 2018. 442 crore rupees have been allocated for the implementation of the project. The cost of preserving 281 slaughterhouses scattered across the country and constructing monuments is estimated at 80 lakh 92 thousand taka.

According to Ministry of Liberation War sources, the cooperation which was supposed to be given to others, including public works, is lacking. Most of the areas designated as slaughterhouses and monuments are privately owned. According to the design, 19 percent of the land is supposed to be used for the construction of the monument, but that amount of land is not available. So the design was changed from 6 to 19 percent of the land. The Development Project Proposal (DPP) should also be amended for this. Apart from this, many of the places designated for slaughterhouses do not have that spot in the land schedule, mauza, khatian.

Sources say that there is a discrepancy between the land schedule of some slaughterhouses and the location of the actual slaughterhouses. Apart from this, the land mentioned in the DPP, though it is a private land, has been valued as private land. Again, no value has been fixed in the case of acquisition of a number of private lands and private lands. Apart from this, there are complications regarding who will work in this project. However, there is a provision to take settlement from the Ministry of Lands at a symbolic price of Rs 1,000 if there is abattoir land on government land and if there is abattoir land on privately owned land, the customary acquisition rules are to be followed.

Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque told Prothom Alo that the project is a bit slow because the land was not available from the beginning. There is a shortage of manpower, the project manager does this work in addition to his own responsibilities.

Earlier, during the BNP government, in 2004, a project was taken to construct memorials at 35 slaughterhouses. Till 2008, 60 crore rupees were spent on that project. But most of the slaughterhouses were not built with monuments. The ones that have been done are now derelict. In 2010, the current ruling government again took up the slaughterhouse conservation project. The Ministry of Liberation War Affairs was responsible for implementing the project from the beginning.

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