RAJUK: An overview of purbachal new town project

Engr. Ujjwal Mallick
Project Director
Purbachal New Town Project RAJUK

Bangladesh, being the most densely populated country of the world has been facing extreme housing problem. At present 28 percent people live in urban areas which are expected to be 34 percent in 2025.The current trend of urban growth in Bangladesh is about 5-6 percent per annum. Dhaka city, the capital of Bangladesh, approximately accommodates a vast population of over 16.6 million with the estimated 4.7% growth rate per annum. The pressure of population in Dhaka city is escalating day by day as people of Bangladesh are largely Dhaka centered. Bangladesh is based with a challenge of accommodating its burgeoning urban population. The growth of slums and squatter settlements currently accommodating over 35% of the urban population is to the sprawling metropolis. Thus city life is becoming more of a menace than of comfort and convenience of collective living.

The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) is entrusted with plan preparation, implementation and development control in connection with city development, planned and implemented various housing, commercial and industrial land development projects within its jurisdiction. Having long observed these projects and examined their merits and demerits, RAJUK for the first time planned a self-sufficient township of the new century, named Purbachal New Town Project.

This is the largest ever project of the authority, also as an independent township to accommodate a projected population of almost 1.5 million. So far RAJUK developed only housing schemes within its jurisdiction in Dhaka, like Uttara, Banani, etc. It has been undertaken under a new plan named ‘Dhaka Metropolitan Development Plan (DMDP), 1995-2015’ prepared by Rajuk to cope with the tremendous population pressure. In order to divert the existing population pressure from Dhaka city and create better city environments for the dwellers, DMDP adopted a policy (Policy UA/8) to establish a series of satellite towns around mega city Dhaka. Purbachal New Town is the first such undertaking.The project is being implemented by RAJUK’s own fund with an approximate cost of about 77 (Seventy seven) billion Taka.

Minister for Housing & Public Works Engr. Mosharraf Hossain, MP; Chairman of RAJUK Md. Abdur Rahman, RAJUK Chief Engineer (Implementation) are inspecting the project site. PD of Purbachal New Town Project Engr. Ujjwal Mallick is seen among others.

The area of the project is about 6227 acres, which would encompass about 150 acres of Khilkhet Thana of Dhaka district, about 4577 acres of Rupganj Thana of Narayanganj district and 1500 acres of Kaliganj Thana of Gazipur district. The project is located just beyond the north-east corner of DCC area, about 16 km apart from the Zero point of the Dhaka Metro Region. The river Shitalakkha would traverse the Project on the East and Balu on the West.

Purbachal will have 25,016 residential plots of different sizes and 60,000 apartments in 17 Highrise Apartment Blocks with necessary infrastructure and urban facilities. It has been divided into 30 sectors. An eight-lane wide expressway connects Dhaka airport road with the project. A metro rail will connect the project to Motijheel in future. According to the plan, Purbachal will have 38.60% residential area, 26.59% for roads, 6.76% for administrative and commercial establishments, 5.45% for Education and Research institutions, 13.64 % for urban green and lakes/ canals, and 3.39% for Health & Sports Facilities , 5.52% for Utility, Urban Facilities & Social Infrastructures.

In the pristine nature of Purbachal there stood a privately owned commercial forest of GOZARI trees (SHAALBON) on 191.50 acres of land which is not any preserved forest of the Department of Forest. An overwhelming part, almost in entirety, of this forest belonged to Gazipur while a trace of 0.76 acre had been in Narayanganj. There were also traces of scattered forest pockets (at 20 locations) on a total of approximately 43 acres. Therefore, the core forest area is 148.50 acres. During the planning process, maximum emphasis was put on preserving the entire forest area intact.

A partial view of Balu Bridge constructed by RAJUK in Purbachal New Town.

Purbachal landscape has, however, been planned in such a manner as to least disturb the existing topography and were done so, only where it was inevitable. The low-lying areas and creeks have been designed into lakes and lake-links/khals. Thus the existing drainage pattern not only were left undisturbed but their conveyance and water conservation capacitates have been boosted. In a sentence, the proposed topography will be interfering with the ecology at the minimum. Overall, the roads, the recreation facilities, the play-lots and playgrounds, the sports complex and the golf course, the forests and the lakes/canals cover in excess of 2600 acres of land where there will be no artificial covering overhead other than the natural canopy at places. This amount is about 43% of the entire Purbachal New Town Project surface area.

Accordingly, RAJUK obtained Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment (DoE) after the approval of Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report. It should be mentioned here that a No Objection Certificate (NOC) had also been obtained from the Local Authorities.

Land acquisition and Preliminary Survey Work with GPS and Total Station of the Narayanganj, Gazipur and Dhaka district is completed. Huge land development work is being carried out in that area at a full swing. Land development of 5000 acre (approx.) land is completed; land development of rest area is ongoing. From 25,016 Residential plots, more than 15,000 nos plots have been handover. Handing over of residential plots at sector-01,02,03,04,05,09,11,12,13,14,17, 18,23,29 and 30 have been completed. Remaining handling over of residential plots of other sectors are ongoing.

A partial view of Janata High School constructed by RAJUK in Purbachal New Town.

36 Nos bridge has been constructed among 65 Nos. of bridges., construction work of 21 bridges is ongoing. Road construction works in sector no 1-5,9,11,13,14,17,18, 20,22,23,29 and 30 have been mostly completed. In sector no. 3,7,8,10,15, 16,21,24,25,26,27 and 28 road construction works are going on. In other sectors, remaining roads will be constructed after significant progress of site development works. All Road Network will by developed by June/2019.For power supply Installation of electric pole and overhead line is going on at sector 1,2,4,5,9,11,13,14,17, 21,22and 29 by DESCO .Power supply has already been started in the project area.

RAJUK took an initiative for providing water supply and sewerage system in the project through PPP arrangement. CCEA has given In-principle approval for implementation of water supply & sewerage system in PPP method.Tender approval for Water Supply System is under processing in CCEA.

An Iconic Tower is a planned super tall skyscraper that will be built in Central Business District on Purbachal Sector 19 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Consortium of PowerPacHoldings and Kajima Corporation got the job to build the tower at Purbachal New Town.

There is planning to construct 60,000 Nos. Apartment in 17 High-rise Apartment Block at Purbachal New Town Project. There are 8 no. of blocks in 5 sectors reserved for construction of high-rise apartment for mid-middle income to higher income people. There are also Blocks for Low Income Group at sector no. 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 13, 18, 25 & 29 . The project will be implemented in PPP arrangement. On 08/11/2018 this project proposal got in principle approval of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA ).

All the features and provisions for a modern, intelligent township have been kept in Purbachal New Town Project. Thus, this will be a complete township of comfortable living ever built in Bangladesh till now.