Additionally, the court also declared an embargo on filling up the water bodies for the next six months
The High Court has issued a ruling to hand over 40 acres of water bodies in Uttara’s Baunia and Barakakar to the Bangladesh Bridge Authority, and why it should not declare filling of the said bodies, illegal.
Additionally, the court also declared an embargo on filling up the water bodies for the next six months.
The High Court bench, consisting of Justices Mainul Islam Chowdhury and Ashraful Kamal issued the rule following a writ petition submitted by environment activist organizations.
The bench also ordered the defendants, comprised of secretaries at the Ministry of Land, as well as the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the executive director of Bangladesh Bridge Authority, and the project director of Dhaka’s elevated expressway, to respond to the rule.
The writ petitioners, consisting of Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD), Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela), Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) and Nijera Kori, were represented by Advocate Syeda Rizwana Hasan.
The water bodies, among the few remaining water retention ponds in the capital, were handed over to the elevated expressway project authorities in 2014, while instructing the Institute of Water Modelling (IWM) to assess if it would affect the drainage system.
The IWM submitted its report, but overlooked the implications of waterlogging, which has plagued Dhaka in recent times.
The expressway authority disregarded IWM’s report and continued filling up the water bodies, earning the ire of locals in the vicinity.