Uttarayan Amana City, an ambitious housing project advertised to be built on 6,000 acres of land in between the City Hat and Baya areas of Rajshahi by Amana Group, is selling plots with lucrative offers without taking approval from the Rajshahi Development Authority (RDA).
The company has already sold around 300 plots in one of the six sectors of the project.
RDA's Urban Planner Ajmeri Ashrafi has told The Business Standard that no application has been made to the RDA for approval for the Uttarayan Amana City. "Official approval is mandatory in case of selling plots on more than 2 acres of land as per the RDA Act and selling plots would only be legal with prior approval for the layout of the plan."
Asked if there is any mention of this project in the 2041 master plan of the RDA, he said, "Since it has not been approved, there is no question of its inclusion in the master plan."
Asked about this, Abdullah Al Mamun, director of Amana Group and professor of Islamic Studies at Rajshahi University, said the company has taken permission from the Rajshahi deputy commissioner's office for the project.
RDA approval is needed in the case of building houses, but for developing housing projects on agricultural land one needs approval from the DC, he claimed.
A top RDA official, who did not want to be named, said, "Amana Group is taking booking money without buying the land which is a kind of fraud. Everything including the Dag and Khatian numbers of the land must be specified in case of plot bookings."
A Khaitan number is a number that helps to identify details in land records. A Khatain number generally consists of a Dag Number. The Dag Number is issued to land during the Land Reforms and when the Dags are divided into subplots it is known as Bata Dags.
Speaking on this matter, Amana Group director Abdullah Al Mamun told TBS, "So far, we have purchased around 350 bighas of land and sold around 300 plots. Currently, we are not giving any Dag and Khatian numbers to the customers. Only the block and the road numbers are mentioned. The plots would be registered after five years."
We are taking only 20% to 30% of the contract money from the customers, he added.
Muhammad Shariful Haque, additional deputy commissioner (revenue) of Rajshahi District Administration, said, "We would take action if we get any formal complaint that the project is being implemented without any approval. Action would also be taken if anybody complains to us against the project authorities about any kind of harassment."
An ambitious project
According to the project authorities, Uttarayan Amana City will be the first megacity in the northern region of the country which will offer all the facilities to fulfil the educational, medical and recreational purposes of its residents.
There will be a university, Bengali and English medium schools, college, madrasah, hospital, diagnostic centre, shopping centres, playgrounds, cricket academy, and five-star and seven-star hotels. There will also be religious prayer houses for all the major religions inside the area, company leaflets read.
The entire project will also have a separate electricity sub-station, fire service station, police station, gas facility from its own plantation, sewerage treatment plant etc, it added.
People concerned said the total area shown in the project is still a low wetland, locally known as a beel, where people from the surrounding villages cultivate different crops. The area goes underwater during the rainy season, they added.
The main cattle market in the northern region during Eid-ul-Azha is also held on the proposed project site and there is also a dumping ground of the Rajshahi City Corporation near it.
Officials of the housing project said there will be six sectors in the project, but initially, only one sector will be developed and the plots of this sector will be handed over to the customers by December 2026, they told TBS.
People of Rajshahi, Naogaon, Chapainawabganj, and Natore districts are especially showing interest in buying plots in the project at affordable prices with all the modern civic amenities, they added.
Company officials said the authorities are now selling plots of 3.5 katha and 7.5 katha which are residential plots. However, some 10-katha plots will be sold later to commercial entities.