Kuakata: An unplanned tourist spot | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 16, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:18 AM, February 16, 2018

Kuakata: An unplanned tourist spot

Influential people are building structures in Kuakata town haphazardly, defying ban on construction without permission.

The authorities concerned approved the Kuakata Master Plan two years ago, imposing a ban on construction of structures without permission to make Kuakata a planned and attractive tourist town.

The government framed the master plan to make Kuakata a planned tourist spot in 1998. Afterwards, a section of investors started construction of structures there.

Patuakhali Deputy Commi-ssioner Dr Masumur Rahman said Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation formed a 10-member committee to prepare a master plan and appointed a consulting firm, Sheltech, for this purpose on May 19 in 2010. Latachaplee, Kawar Char, Gangamati and Char Chaplee villages in Kuakata were brought under the master plan, the DC said.

The Housing and Public Works Ministry formed a five-member Patuakhali Development Authority headed by the deputy commissioner with the Public Works Department (PWD) executive engineer as member secretary on May 3 in 2011 to make Kuakata a planned town, said PWD Executive Engineer Jerald Guda Oliver.

The ministry also formed a nine-member committee for Kuakata and Payra port area on July 18 in 2016 to implement registration of real estate developers and other activities. Headed by Barisal divisional commissioner, PWD executive engineer was made its member secretary.

The Prime Minister's Office on May 20 in 2012 issued an instruction to implement the master plan, saying permission from the DC's office is a must to build structures or sell or buy land in those four villages.

The then DC on September 6 in 2012 asked the people to take permission in this regard.

This correspondent recently found that a good number of permanent structures were being constructed in Kuakata town, defying the ban.

One Abdur Rahim Khan is constructing a multi-storied building near the Kuakata municipality office, ignoring the ban.

When asked Rahim said he  submited a prayer to the committee for its approval of a plan and a design in November in 2016 and another prayer was submitted to the Kuakata municipality on June 26 in 2017. But he did not get any approval yet, he added.

Businessman Md Hannan said he started construction of a four-storey building beside the Kuakata-Patuakhali highway as his prayer for permission is yet to be approved.

Kuakata Municipality Mayor Abdul Bareq Mollah said around 40 buildings are being constructed in the municipality area without permission, but no step has been taken against the violaters.

Architect Milon Mondol in Barisal said a master plan is needed to build a planned town, including educational institutions, roads, traffic system, public housing and health organisations.

He said Kuakata has been brought under a master plan to make it more attractive and protect its biodiversity. But it is now turning into a concrete town due to lack of implementation of the master plan, he added.

The committee for Kuakata and Payra port at a meeting on August 17 last year asked the Kuakata mayor to stop construction of illegal structures and send a list of the structures.

The mayor said he would send the list of illegal structures to the committee soon.

Oliver, also member secretary of the committee, said 10 people submitted prayers seeking permission, but the committee rejected all of them at a meeting in November last year as their designs were not approved by the archcitecture department.

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