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HC: Evict illegal structures on Karnaphuli riverbanks

  • Published at 07:29 pm April 9th, 2019
illegal-structures-Karnaphuli-River
File photo: Chittagong District Administration demolishes illegal structures along the bank of Karnaphuli River on Tuesday; February 5, 2019 Focus Bangla

The court ordered chairman of CPA to submit a report on the drive

The High Court ordered the removal of structures that were illegally built on the banks of Karnaphuli River in Chittagong. 

The bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal issued the order yesterday. The Court also instructed the chairman of Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) to submit a report after conducting the drive.

Advocate Manzil Murshid, who appeared for the petitioner, said the court had fixed May 19 for the next hearing on the matter. 

In 2010, the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) filed a writ, seeking the High Court's directive to remove illegal structures on the banks of Karnaphuli. 

In the petition, a number of individuals, owners of businesses, houses and slums; a container terminal, and six government entities were accused of constructing illegal structures along the riverbanks in Bakalia, Patenga, Madarbari, Ghosail Danga, Monoharkhali and Firingi Bazar areas.

On August 16, 2016, the High Court directed the authorities concerned to remove 2112 illegal structures.

Following the High Court's direction, authorities recently conducted drives to remove the illegal structures. When the drive was stopped midway without completion, HRPB filed a supplementary petition in this regard.

More eviction drives to remove illegal structures

Local authorities conducted drives in Savar, Munshiganj, and Kushtia yesterday to remove illegal structures. 

A team of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) demolished 29 illegal structures built along the banks of Turag River in Savar.

Following the order of the Ministry of Shipping, the BIWTA officials conducted the drive to free the riverbanks from illegal encroachment, according to a press statement.

The demolished structures include two single-storey buildings, 11 partially constructed houses, four boundary walls, 10 tin-shed houses and two parks located at Birulia.

During the drive, around two acres of land were freed from encroachment and Tk1 lakh was fined. The BIWTA also auctioned products worth Tk1.18 crore, the statement said. They will resume the drive today at 9am.

The BIWTA further conducted a drive to remove at least 60 illegal structures along 4km on both banks of Dhaleshwari River in Munshiganj. 

They also collected Tk9.66 lakh in fines during the drive. 

Md Shahidullah, deputy director of BIWTA, confirmed the matter to the Dhaka Tribune. 

The BIWTA conducted another drive on April 3 along the riverbanks between Kamalaghat port area in Mirkadim municipality and Munshiganj launch terminal. 

Yesterday, the Bangladesh Railway authorities removed more than 100 shops, illegally built on land owned by the railway in Bheramara upazila, Kushtia. 

Led by land official and Executive Magistrate, Yunus Ali, a team of Bangladesh Railway officials, police and Rapid Action Battalion conducted the drive at several places in the upazila. 

Our district correspondents Tanjil Hasan, Munshiganj and Kudrote Khoda Sobuj, Kushtia contributed to the story