RAOWA Complex: A hallmark in development of RAOWA

--Lt Col GM Azizur Rahman (Retd)

The Retired Armed Forces Officers Welfare Association (RAOWA) was founded in March 1982 to provide a forum for the Retired Armed Forces Officers. It was established to promote Social, Cultural and Economic well being of the retired military officers through mutual understanding and cooperation. The Armed Force Officers are groomed and bonded together in their service life by common ideas, perception, hopes and aspiration with a close knit social life amongst themselves. After retirement from the Armed Forces Services, the officers and their family members find it difficult to adjust with the social life outside the cantonment. These reasons influenced the founding process of RAOWA by the early organizes to whom we are all grateful.

RAOWA was allotted a piece of land in the present location in 1984 to develop it to a social welfare organization with various recreational facilities as usually have in other social clubs or association. The present structure (Old building of RAOWA) which our pioneer members of RAOWA developed has very limited club facilities. With increasing number of members, it was felt to develop one RAOWA COMPLEX with increased facilities to earn substantial revenue, to run the facilities as well as to extend welfare supports to the RAOWA members as and when required. In 2010, the RAOWA started the constructions of the dream project-the RAOWA complex at an initial cost of TK.58.73 crore. Initially the project aimed to complete the following facilities first:

a.         All sub structural (basement-1 & 2 and piling) works.

b.         All super structural civil works (from level-1 to 12).

c.         All internal electric works.

d.         All water supply, plumbing, sanitary and gas (internal) works.

Later it was decided to complete the following works in the subsequent phases

a.         Provision of Air Condition for Level-2, 3, 4 & 5 of the RAOWA complex.

b.         Enhanced electric power supply & related works (including substation).

c.         Lifts (5xpassenger lifts & 1xcargo lift).

d.         Swimming pool equipments.

e.         Gymnasium interior works & equipments.

f.          Billiard & pool room interior works & furniture.

g.         Restaurant, pantry & kitchen interior works, furniture and equipments.

h.         Lounge, office and Library Furniture.

i.          Solar power system for electrical connection.

j.          Landscaping in and around RAOWA complex.

Aim:  To provide a comprehensive idea about the RAOWA complex with a view to make the reader or member satisfied about the entire RAOWA complex project.

Present State of Construction

a. Concept of RAOWA complex:   RAOWA complex conceived and designed as per the instruction of the RAOWA authority by Vitti Sthapati Brindo Ltd (Architectural firm). Before this Vitti Sthapati Brindo Ltd was appointed as the consultant of RAOWA on 23 June 2008, through a competitive bidding process. On the drawn design by the consultant due tender process was carried out and Project Builders Limited (PBL) was officially awarded the work to construct the RAOWA complex on 27 October 2008. The contractual price of the contract was TK. 58.73 crore, PBL started its work on 03 November 2008 but due to non-availability of the initial fund the progress of the work could not be achieved much to the desire of RAOWA. However on availability of the Bank finance from the EXIM Bank the work actually started on 14 February 2010.

b. Key Features of the 12 Storied RAOWA Complex.

(1) General.

(a)        Level-1 (Ground Floor) car parking reserved for RAOWA members only.

(b)        Double basement car parking both for RAOWA members and for the rental floors.

(c)        Separate entry and lift for RAOWA members and the rental floors.

(d)       Convention hall at level-2 for party facilities of 1000 persons. RAOWA members are being given special discount facilities for use of convention hall.

(e)        Three separate convention hall cum seminar hall at level-3 for organizing small party and seminars, RAOWA members, are given special discount facilities for use of the same.

(2) RAOWA Complex and Facilities For RAOWA.

(a)        RAOWA office has been accommodated at level-3 (Northern Side) having board room, Executive committee room and business room for the RAOWA members.

(b)        Fully separate and secured RAOWA entertainment and welfare facilities will be accommodated at level-4&5.

(c)        RAOWA complex will entertain its members through the swimming  pool, kids pool, Card Room, Beverage Room, Gymnasium, Billiard Room, Bar-B-Q & Open Café, lounge area, home theatre, library, children play area, seam bath & sauna.

(3)        Rental Space: Total rentable spaces of about 1,35,000 sqft can be    rented but which will be accommodated from level-6-12. The tenant of the rental spaces will have separate reception, entry, lifts, car parking and toilets facilities. The rental floors having the sizes vary from level to level. The floors of level-6 to 9 are having the size of 19727 sqft. The level-10 having the area of 18920 sqft The level-11 floor is having the area of 18250 sqft. And the level-12 of the building is having covered space of 6500 sqft and an open terrace of 11750 sqft.

This level-12 is planned for Roof Top Garden-Café. The other floors are planned   to be rented for the corporate office, bank, insurance, multinational companies office, telephone company offices, training institute, training centre’s etc.

c. Progress of Construction of RAOWA Complex: The construction of the civil structure is 99% complete. The substation of 3200KVA is commissioned in March 2014. 03x500KW prime power generators have already been commissioned on November 2013. 06xlifts (01xcargo lift, 05xpassenger lifts) were supplied by MAAN Bangladesh limited and duly commissioned on March 2014. The micro processor based fire detection & suppression system is being installed. The inspection by the Fire Service & Civil Defence Directorate being carried out to ascertain the correctness. The pavement tiles on the parking area at level-1 already completed. The toilets & washing facilities for the drivers have been made at the basement-1. New connection of electricity of 1000KW has been taken from the DESCO. Simultaneously a  new WASA connection has been taken for water supply. The swimming pool (40 ft long), library, Bar-B-Q space, gymnasium, steam and sauna being built at the level-4 of the complex. More over the glass curtain wall on the western, eastern & northern side being fixed. Overall finishing work of other floors are being done.

 

Welfare Services to RAOWA Members and RAOWA Complex

a.         RAOWA is the 2nd home to the retired military officers, Retired military officers do faces   difficulties in passing their normal life. RAOWA is destined to provide the welfare services to its members. In persuasion of that spirit RAOWA is providing facilities to its members in limited scale now. But RAOWA has a long term plan to provide extended services. RAOWA is trying to provide the members with better facilities like swimming pool having a 40ft long water gap. RAOWA is creating facilities for the members & their families to keep them healthy through gymnasium, steam, sauna and kids pool. RAOWA members will be able to socialize through Bar-B-Q. Children play area, longing, playing billiards and using RAOWA library. RAOWA ladies would be able to function better by using the RAOWA ladies Room. RAOWA Restaurant would provide delicate cuisine to its members. RAOWA members can play cards of international standard games. RAOWA beverage Room would provide a star to its standard.

All the facilities of RAOWA complex located at level-4 & 5 are to be linked through a stair and making it a duplex. The entry to the RAOWA facilities would be restricted to the RAOWA members and their family members only. This would allow RAOWA to maintain the privacy from the non-RAOWA elements of RAOWA complex. RAOWA can organize parties at Bar-B-Q areas. RAOWA members are engaged in intellectual research & studies also, so for them a very modern library with electronic-journal &periodicals would be set up. RAOWA library will also be the hub of RAOWA archive and date base. RAOWA members need to remain in sound mind and body. So, the health (physical fitness) related activities to be carried out at gymnasium area.

b.         RAOWA Consultancy/ Resource centre: Inform-ation is the basis of intelligence. With the availability of the intelligence, the subsequent decision making becomes easier. RAOWA would definitely try to establish a data base and provide necessary information’s to the members. RAOWA would also provide necessary consultancy/ advice to its members. RAOWA is providing training course or services like Arabic language course or seminar/orientation course on hajj etc. RAOWA would intensify these kinds of course for their members.

c.         Furtherance of RAOWA Welfare Activities: Elder RAOWA members are living almost alone, their children or grandchildren are staying at abroad. These elder/veterans are looking for dormitory/ Guest house where they can stay with their wives Facilities like physio therapy services may be developed at RAOWA. Members are looking for the services like payment of utility bills through RAOWA as visiting different offices or out lets by the senior citizens like RAOWA members are quite difficult. RAOWA members do need the emergency health care services, for that they are needed to be evacuated to hospitals or Combined Military Hospital by a very efficient ambulance services. RAOWA would ensure these kind of services in future for the members.

d.         Finding Jobs/Placements of RAOWA Members: Military Officers do retire quite earlier than the contemporary civilian Officers. Those able, capable and qualified members of RAOWA seek for jobs. RAOWA is seriously thinking to create an employment cell which would be located at RAOWA complex for its members. RAOWA has already set up a business centre to assist the members for setting up and operating their businesses.

Maintenance, Control and Security of the RAOWA Complex

a.         Maintenance: The whole complex is needed to be maintained by operating the generators in absence of the power supplies. The Water supply is from the WASA. The energy/power supply to the rented floors would cover the power supply to the fans and lights. The common toilets will be maintained centrally. Over all cleanliness and garbage disposal will be done by RAOWA authority. The expenditure of all these will be shared by the occupants of different floors in a proportionate manner.

b.         Control:  The overall control of the complex will remain at the hands of RAOWA authority. But the individual floors occupied by the tenants will enjoy their control & freedom in their respective floors. The movements from one floor to other floor (different owner) will be restricted. The supply of power, gas, water, telephone and cyber net work will be regulated centrally and in coordination with the occupants of the different floors. The control of events should be done such a manner that no individual is barred from enjoying his due freedom but at the same time privacy and security of others are to be ensured. Principle of segregation and channeling will be followed to ensure the required services and freedom of the visitors and occupants of the complex.

c.         Security.  The security of the complex will be ensured by ensuring the access control to this complex. Overall security of the complex will be manned by RAOWA authority. The security personnel to be employed by the RAOWA authority to guard the entry/exit of the complex. The parking areas, lobby, entry & exit places to be covered by the CCTV. The security against the fire hazard to ensured by the fire detection and suppression systems. RAOWA complex will be under the IBMS (Integrated Building Management System). The complex will be a smart building. To meet up the emergency, there is an emergency stair (Fire exit). The power supply system is regulated through a very modern and smart electrical distribution boxes. More over the power substation, generators, gas and water supplies are regulated and secured appliances fitted with. Monitoring of the complex will be done centrally with digital devices.

Conclusion

RAOWA Complex was conceived by the pioneers of RAOWA. It was designed to house all the facilities of RAOWA under a single roof with optimum space. The dream project started facing all the odds. The complex was built with the assistance from the Army, Navy, Air force and Exim Bank in the form financial credits. The Chairman & EC (Executive committee) members of RAOWA from 2004 started the planning process and gradually it has come to this stage. The credit goes to all the predecessors and the present EC for the successful completion of the structure itself. RAOWA complex is one of the steps made by RAOWA is its journey to the developments which would continue in many fields. RAOWA will accomplish its goal by delivering the services and fulfilling its welfare requirements to its members and ultimately contributing to the nation.