Documents of 30,000 clients go missing from RAJUK server

RAJUK Bhaban
File photo

Around 30,000 clients' documents seeking permission for construction of buildings have been lost from the server of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakkha (RAJUK).

The city building authorities came to know about the incident on 6 December, but RAJUK is still in dark as to whether this happened due to technical glitch or anyone did it intentionally.

The authorities are yet to form a probe committee to investigate the incident in over three weeks, raising questions over the RAJUK’s sincerity to unearth the reason behind it. 

The lost documents are the clients applications for construction permit from May 2019 to 6 December this year. RAJUK officials said people may face various hassles due to loss of these important documents.

Loss of these documents may also spawn corruption. For example, many people want to take bank loans keeping buildings as mortgage. Bank authorities in such case send letter to RAJUK for verification. With the loss of the document, such clients would face trouble getting bank loans as RAJUK would not be able to verify the documents.

Also, clients would be able to temper the design approved by the RAJUK. The RAJUK authorities would not be able to do much to prevent such wrongdoings since they have the design to challenge any forged documents. Also the RAJUK authorities would not be able to do anything if anyone constructs buildings beyond approved height.  

Land use clearance (LUC) and construction permit (CP) plan from RAJUK are required for constructing any building in RAJUK area. Traditional method was followed in the past. In 2016, the land use clearance became online initially in one of the eight zones (zone-5). The clearance process went online fully from 2018. The RAJUK started giving construction permit online from May 2019.

The clients apply for LUC and CP on this website upon registration. The clients need to upload building plan and other documents on this website.

The RAJUK uploads the LUC and CP on the same website upon necessary process. A client can start construction of the building downloading the approvals from there. RAJUK sources said the website became dysfunctional on 6 December.

Head of RAJUK’s Management Information System (MIS) Kazi Mohammad Mahabubul Haque told Prothom Alo that they are trying to retrieve all the lost documents. They have filed a general diary (GD) over the incident.

Fear of irregularies   

The government on 23 August 2022 approved Detailed Area Plan (DAP) for Dhaka city area. Due to the DAP, the land owners have to build buildings of lower height than before in most of the areas under RAJUK.

In view of the application of land owners and realtors, RAJUK later decided that those who applied for LUC before 23 August can construct buildings under the previous rules. That is, those who applied before 23 August will get more area than the area mentioned in the current DAP. RAJUK on 4 December published a notification in this regard. RAJUK's building website went down.

RAJUK sources said a vested quarter might make the website dysfunctional intentionally to show that they made application before 23 August.

RAJUK sticks to same web developer/organisation

RAJUK sources said the website is developed and managed by Technohaven Company Limited. This private organisation could not yet inform the RAJUK why the website went down and the documents. However, the RAJUK is taking fresh applications for LUC and CP through the website from 22 December.

Asked how the documents of 30,000 clients were lost due to website’s error, Technohaven Company Limited’s project manager Ruhul Amin told Prothom Alo over phone on Wednesday, “RAJUK’s MIS department would be able to talk about this issue better.”

Asked about the suspicion of some RAJUK official that some officials of Technohaven might have connivance with the incident, Ruhul Amin said, “This is impossible. We are looking after the website. It’s impossible for us to be involved with this.” 

A section of RAJUK officials demanded that actions be taken against the responsible persons responsible first. In the meantime, the application process be run through traditional system or through the website developed under ‘urban resilience project’. But the RAJUK did not go for any alternative.

A responsible official of RAJUK on condition of anonymity told Prothom Alo that an Electronic Construction Permitting System (ECPS) has been developed under the World Bank-funded urban resilience project. The system was launched last year for experimental use. But the RAJUK did not use ECPS for unknown reason and restart the process on the old website.

We are trying to get the lost documents of the clients back. We’ve discussed the matter with information and communication technology division
Anisur Rahman Miah, RAJUK chairman

RAJUK chairman Anisur Rahman Miah told Prothom Alo, “We are trying to get the lost documents of the clients back. We’ve discussed the matter with information and communication technology division. Senior secretary of the division assured that all the information would be retrieved.”

Asked if a probe body was formed over the incident, RAJUK chairman said, “We’ve written to the ICT ministry and an expert team of theirs are working.”