Authorities in Chittagong have failed to evict encroachers on the Karnaphuli River, a year and half after the High Court ruled that 2,181 illegal structures should be removed from the river bank.
Chittagong Deputy Commissioner (DC) Zillur Rahman Chowdhury said they require a substantial amount of money to conduct the eviction drives and they have already written to the concerned ministry requesting the funds.
“We will soon publish circular in the newspapers in this regard. Rest assured that there will be a positive result in this matter within the next six months,” added the DC.
On August 16, 2016, 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.
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.
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, in July 2010.
The court had also asked the Chittagong DC to issue a circular in two local newspapers seven days after receiving the full verdict, asking the owners to remove illegal structures in 90 days.
If the structures are not relocated within the time frame, the district administration will evict them, the verdict says.
A number individuals, business and slums owners, a container terminal, and six government entities are accused of erecting illegal structures at Bakalia, Patenga, Madarbari, Ghosail Danga, Monoharkhali, and Firingi Bazar areas on the river bank.