A multi-storied building is being built in the designated area of Agargaon Bazar in the capital. The previous shops were demolished. The market has been installed with a tin canopy on the road in front of it to provide business opportunities during the construction of the building. It has been alleged that some leaders of the current committee of Agargaon Bazar Vanik Sambay Samity have grabbed about 70 lakh rupees in exchange for allotment of 122 shops of temporary market.
However, the leaders of the association claim that this money has been taken by the association as the cost of constructing a temporary market. Later that money was explained to the contractor. Although the contractor company says that they have constructed the temporary market, no money has been taken from the association.
The 13-storey building of Agargaon Bazar is being constructed in the area adjacent to Taltala Bus Stand. Construction started last September.
On the surface, it can be seen that a tin canopied market has been installed occupying a 100 meter portion of the 15 feet wide road adjacent to the south side of the multi-storied building under construction. There are shops selling vegetables, groceries, fish and meat, medicines, clothes, hardware, mobile phones, etc.
Both merchant associations and contracting firms claimed to have constructed temporary markets.
The market is closed
Local people say that the road occupied by the market was known as Taltala Bazar Road. All types of vehicles including cars were plying on this road. The residents of the surrounding area could walk to Mirpur-bound Begum Rokeya Sarani. But now no vehicles can ply due to market installation.
The residents of the planning department’s residential building in Taltala used to travel regularly to Rokeya Sarani through that road. Now they have to travel through Taltala Government Colony Road on their way.
The members of the merchant association and the traders who have shops in the temporary market complain that the leaders of the current committee have taken about 60 thousand to 70 lakh rupees from everyone who got a shop in the name of constructing a temporary market. This money was not deposited as bank of the association or given to the contractor. The leaders embezzled this money.
The money has been raised and given to the general secretary of the association. I don’t know whether it was given to the contractor or not.
Prothom Alo spoke to 12 of the shopkeepers in the tin canopies market. Requesting anonymity, they said each of them had to pay money to the committee leaders.
These traders said that the money was taken because they have to pay the construction cost to get the shop. Shahadat Hossain and Noor Hossain collected this amount on behalf of the association. He did not give any receipt or contract for this. Just said, business can be done until the construction of the main market is completed.
Noor Hossain and Shahadat Hossain are the directors of the association. Nur Hossain said, “The money has been raised and given to the general secretary of the association. I don’t know if it has been given to the contractor or not.’ And when I called Shahadat’s mobile phone last Wednesday, the number was found to be closed.
The members of the association alleged that the leaders of the committee embezzled the money from the sale of soil. They said, for the construction of the building, around 23 thousand square feet of excavation has been done as deep as 23 feet. This land was also sold by the association leaders. But the account of money was not given to the society.
Abdun Noor Shahi, general secretary of the association, claims that the committee has built the tin canopied temporary market. He told Prothom Alo that this money was taken for the construction cost. Later the money was given to the contractor. Noor claims that the road is abandoned.
However, the contractor company says that they have not taken any money from the trade association for the construction of tin canopies. Tarek Ahmed (Hasan), the project manager of the contractor Noorani Construction Limited, told Prothom Alo, “We have not taken any money from the business association.”
None of the in-charge engineers of the Public Works Department’s Sher-e-Bangla City Division declined to comment on the construction of markets in place of roads and taking money from traders. They said that considering the humanitarian aspect, a temporary market has been made for the traders at the expense of the contractor. For this, no money was taken separately from the businessmen or associations. After the construction of the main building, the modification of the project will be rented to the contractor for the tin canopy structure.
According to the prothomalo