Official says all utilities were disconnected from the illegal establishments on February 18 to evict the people from
Over 10,000 people, occupying 57 acres of land without papers in Laldia Char, a small island at the estuary of the Karnaphuli River in Patenga, face eviction on Monday by the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) to make way for the Laldia Multipurpose Terminal.
CPA has taken the initiative to evict illegal establishments from Laldia Char on the direction of the High Court, in accordance with the writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.
According to the order of the High Court sent last December, the illegal occupants were to be evicted within two months and a report submitted by March 9. Plans are to be made to set up a yard for handling containers at the evicted site, officials said.
Assistant Manager (Estate) of Chittagong Port Division Muhammad Shihab Uddin said WASA, electricity and gas were disconnected from the illegal establishments on February 18 to evict the people from Laldia Char.
The illegal occupants have been disconnected from electricity, gas and water as per the order of the High Court, which was informed in the newspaper on February 17.
Five executive magistrates from the district administration and one magistrate from the port have been requested to participate in the eviction drive.
Besides, requisition has also been given for 100 members each from RAB and Ansar, plus 200 police personnel including 50 women officers.
On December 8, the virtual bench of Justice Ashfaqul Islam and Justice Mohammad Ali ordered eviction of illegal structures from Laldia Char, situated in the port area of Karnafuli riverbank, within the next two months.
The Chittagong police commissioner, DC, RAB Commander, the CDA chairman and the city corporation administrator were named as defendants in the petition. Lawyer Manzil Morshed appeared for the petition and lawyer Murad Reza appeared for CPA.
Alamgir Hasan, president of the Laldia Char Rehabilitation Implementation Committee, said: “We have held a meeting led by the local ward councillor. The port authorities said they would conduct the eviction operation tomorrow as there was a court order and direction.
“We have strongly demanded to rehabilitate the evicted families of Laldia Char to khas land elsewhere.”
The land was registered under CPA in the BS survey during the Ziaur Rahman and Ershad governments. On this, the port started a conspiracy to evict the people as illegal occupants.
On July 12, 2005, for the first time, 500 families in Laldia Char were evicted. Earlier, on July 22, 2019, the port authorities evicted 250 establishments and vacated about 20 acres of land.