Illegally occupied government land will be recovered without any prior notice, warns DNCC Mayor Atiqul
Police and local residents clashed over an eviction drive by Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) to free up sidewalks in Mirpur.
The DNCC – led by DNCC Zonal Executive Officer A S M Shafiul Azam and Executive Magistrate Tajwar Akram Sakapi Ibn Sajjad – started the eviction drive to remove illegally built structures on Road No 3 and 4 under Block A of Mirpur 11 around 10am on Thursday.
However, locals had blocked the road from the beginning of the operation.
At one point, the DNCC officials and the police had to retreat when the locals began pelting them with brickbats.
Being thus interrupted in their work, the police first fired tear gas shells to disperse the angry mob. During the altercation, several people, including a DNCC staffer, were injured.
The bulldozers that took part in the eviction drive were also vandalized.
Later DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam visited the spot and eased the situation and the drive resumed in his presence and continued till 5pm, DNCC Executive Magistrate Tajwar Akram Sakapi Ibn Sajjad told Dhaka Tribune.
The mayor was accompanied by Dhaka 14 MP Aslamul Haque, he added.
As many as 400 illegal establishments, including shops and houses, were demolished in the drive, according to a city corporation press release.
Mayor Atiqul Islam, briefing the media at the spot, said: “This eviction drive was conducted for the greater good and it has the support of local people.
“However, some unscrupulous individuals obstructed the drive by throwing brickbats out of self-interest. The eviction drive will continue irrespective of the obstacles.”
"This is a long-awaited road but we weren’t able to widen it. Kalshi Road was constructed quite wide. The road on which illegal establishments are being evicted today is a connecting road. We had planned to widen this road a long time ago but could not.
“Today, with the help of locals we have recovered this road from illegal occupants. The width of this road is supposed to be 65 to 75 feet. We will widen it by removing all illegal establishments. The truck stand at the end of this road will also be removed,” the DNCC mayor added.
“Through this road people will now be able to easily reach Dhaka airport from the Mirpur area,” he said.
Mayor Atiqul Islam said: “A few days ago, we demolished several illegal buildings on both sides of the road from Bhashantek Bazar to Pocket Gate to widen the road.
“Even the building of a local ward councillor there was not spared.”
“Our message today is that illegal occupants will not be spared, no matter who they are. Such drives will continue,” the mayor added.
When asked about sending prior notices to the owners of illegal establishments, he said: “Illegally occupied government land will be recovered without any prior notice.”
He said that the city corporation had been forced to conduct the drive as the illegal occupiers did not remove their establishments despite repeated warnings.
However, local shop owners and businessmen claimed that the DNCC had verbally warned them about today’s drive on Wednesday.
It was not possible to get their goods out of the shops in such a short time, they said, adding that this drive had caused them huge losses.
Among others, DNCC Chief Executive Officer Md Selim Reza, Chief Engineer Brigadier General Muhammad Amirul Islam, Chief Property Officer Md Mozammel Haque and Councillor of Ward No 5 Abdur Rauf Nannu, were present during the eviction drive.