The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has filed an application before the Supreme Court, seeking another year for relocating its office, constructed at Dhaka's Hatirjheel in violation of environmental laws. On October 8 last year, the Supreme Court had given the BGMEA seven more months to demolish its office. A five-member apex court bench, headed by Chief Justice in-charge Abdul Wahhab Miah, passed the order.
The 16-storey building was constructed in the Hatirjheel area in 2006. The headquarters, popularly called BGMEA Bhaban, was built in a prime location in violation of the Wetlands Protection Act. The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) has allocated a land in Sector 13 of Uttara in Dhaka for constructing the BGMEA office complex. But BGMEA needs more one year time for relocating its 15-storey building from Hatirjheel area.
The BGMEA has been ordered to demolish the 15-storey building named ‘BGMEA Complex’ which stands on a critical spot in the capital, blocking the connection between two large water bodies Hatirjheel lake and Begunbari canal. If BGMEA would fail to follow through, Rajuk was instructed to take over the work within 90 days of receiving the copy of the verdict. In this case, they would get the cost of the demolition from BGMEA.
The BGMEA building was built about two decades ago, endangering wetlands in Dhaka. In 1998, then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the building. The construction began the same year. The building was inaugurated in 2006 by Khaleda Zia as the prime minister.
The BGMEA has created a fund for constructing its new office-building and the construction work is going on.