There is no legal bar left for the authorities concerned to carry out eviction drives against illegal structures built on the banks of Karnaphuli River in Chittagong.
The development surfaced as the district administration of Chittagong recently received the full text of a High Court verdict in this regard, over a year after the verdict was pronounced.
On August 16 last year, the High Court, in response to a writ petition, had directed the authorities concerned to remove 2,181 structures illegally built on the banks of the river.
The High Court bench of Justice Md Rezaul Hasan and Justice Kashefa Hussain had passed the order after hearing the writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh, a rights organisation, in July 2010.
The High Court had also asked Chittagong deputy commissioner to issue a circular in two local dailies in seven days after receiving the full verdict, asking the owners to remove illegal structures in 90 days.
If the structures are not relocated in within the time frame, the district administration will evict those, the verdict says.
When contacted, Chittagong Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) Abdul Jalil said: “There is no legal obstruction to conduct eviction drives against the illegal structures as we have received the the full text last week.”
“The district administration will now to sit with the stakeholders very soon to chalk out an action plan to remove the illegal structures,” he added.
Citing media reports on rampant encroachment, the writ petition had been filed, seeking the High Court's directives on the government to save the river.
Until obtaining the full verdict, the local administration could not take any measure against the illegal structures, paving the way for mindless encroachment of the river.
A number individuals, business and slums owners, a container terminal, and six government entities are accused of erecting illegal structures at Bakalia, Patenga, Madrabari, Ghosail Danga, Monoharkhali, and Firingi Bazar areas on the river bank.