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Sunday, March 05, 2006

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HEADLINE
 
EPB may get possession of rly land for building WTC
Doulot Akter Mala
3/5/2006
 

          The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) expects to take possession of the long-cherished land from Bangladesh Railway soon for construction of World Trade Centre (WTC) at the city's Karwan Bazar.
Bangladesh Railway (BR) will shortly complete the registration of the 5.555 acres of land, bought by the EPB at a cost of Tk 460 million.
The proposal for construction of WTC was approved in 1982 in the Karwan Bazar commercial area, adjacent to the Sonargaon Pan Pacific Hotel.
The EPB completed the payment of land price in four instalments in 2000, an EPB official said.
He attributed the delay in handing over the land to BR's reluctance for registration.
The EPB has sent several letters to the BR authority to complete the necessary procedure and officially hand over the land, he added.
The EPB received a confirmation letter on February 8 last from the BR authority that it intends to complete the registration of the land within a short time, he said.
"We could not go for further development work of WTC as the land remained under BR's possession," the official said.
The BR will complete the necessary registration procedure soon and formally hand over the land to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), BR authority said in the letter.
Earlier, planning commission rejected the first proposal of building the WTC on 2.17 acres of land at Minto road, adjacent to Hotel Sheraton saying the proposed land is insufficient for construction of WTC.
Planning commission selected the WTC site at the Sonargoan rail crossing area, which was under BR, sources said.
The WTC will be constructed under built-owned- transfer (BOT) basis.
Beside, the EPB had made contacts with several local and foreign firms for construction work and feasibility study of WTC, but the initiative has not yet been successful, EPB official lamented.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed with the French organisation -- Bouques Betiment - in 2000 for feasibility study of WTC, but they dropped the matter due to 'reasons unknown'.
Sources concerned said the government is now giving more priority to the permanent fair complex on 39.5 acres of land at the Old Airport premises - near the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the city.
A MoU was signed in 2005 between the government of Bangladesh and China to established the complex. But since then no progress has so far been made in this regard.

 

 
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