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SC: Restore wetlands; remove Modhumoti Model Town in Savar

  • Published at 11:22 am April 25th, 2019
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File photo of Bangladesh Supreme Court Dhaka Tribune

The court dismissed all five review petitions filed against its previous order

The Supreme Court has upheld its previous order, directing Modhumoti Model Town authorities to restore wetlands of Savar, where the private company had developed its housing project.

A full bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, passed the order on Thursday.

The court also dismissed all five review petitions filed against its previous order.

"The court has reached a milestone in controlling land grabbing and the uncontrolled housing business, through its decision to declare Modhumoti Model Town illegal," Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela), said.

Earlier on August 7, 2012, the Supreme Court in its verdict asked Modhumoti Model Town owner, Metro Makers and Developer Limited, to restore the wetlands to its previous condition, within six months.

The court also asked the owner to pay back all payments in double the amount including registration fee to those who had bought lands in the model town.

Metro Makers and Developer Limited started working on Modhumoti Model Town housing project, without obtaining permission from Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk), and a clearance certificate from the Department of Environment.

As part of the project, 550 acres of wetlands - identified as floodplains in the 1997 Dhaka City Master Plan - was filled up. 

In 2004, Bela filed a writ challenging the legality of the project. After primary hearing, the High Court stayed the project's development work.

Later on July 27, 2005, after completing the hearing of the rule, the High Court declared the Modhumoti Town illegal. The court also rejected a writ filed by the owner Metro Makers.

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