The minister said there was a cold storage among the illegal structures where several thousand tons of fish were preserved
The ongoing eviction drives against illegal structures on the banks of the Karnaphuli River will be intensified if the authorities concerned face threats from any quarted, Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury Javed has said.
The minister made the remark while inspecting the eviction drive at Majhirghat under Sadarghat police station in Chittagong on Saturday.
"No one will be able to get away with making threats. The eviction drives will be intensified if the authorities are threatened," the minister said, adding that as many as ten acres of land have been reclaimed during the drives.
"The eviction drives will be conducted in other areas in phases. There will be no illegal structures anywhere. Beautification work will be conducted in the reclaimed land," he further said.
"Apart from demolishing the illegal establishments on the banks of the river, the mouths of five canals have been freed from the encroachers. Chittagong will survive with the survival of the river. All of us should protect the river," the minister added.
The minister also urged all citizens to play a role in protecting the river.
Earlier on February 2, Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury sounded a strong warning for encroachers, saying no one would be spared during the eviction drives on the banks of the Karnaphuli River.
"The Karnaphuli River is an asset of Chittagong and we must protect it, rising above political identity. The survival of the port city depends on the survival of the Karnaphuli," said the minister.
On August 16, 2016, the High Court directed the authorities concerned to remove 2,112 structures illegally-built on the banks of Karnaphuli River, in response to a writ petition.
The writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh sought directives from the High Court to save the river, citing media reports of rampant encroachment on its banks.
In the petition, a number of individuals—owners of businesses, houses, and slums—a container terminal, and six government entities were accused of erecting illegal structures at the Bakalia, Patenga, Madrabari, Ghosail Danga, Monoharkhali, and Firingi Bazar areas on the riverbanks.