Locals have lodged a written complaint with the Upazila Nirbahi Officer for action in this regard
A government canal has been occupied and filled, subjecting about 200 families to waterlogging in Kandipurba village under Bhalakut union of Nasirnagar upazila in Brahmanbaria.
Locals have alleged that Mazharul Haque Meraj, a local influential person, is behind the illegal canal grabbing and so they have lodged a written complaint with the Upazila Nirbahi Officer for action to be taken in this regard.
According to the written complaint, Mazharul Haque Meraj has occupied a government canal running through Kandipurba village and filled it with sand. As a result, 200 families in the area have been affected by waterlogging, which has caused the loss of a natural drainage system.
Moreover, when local residents protested against the illegal canal grabbing, Meraj threatened to sue them. Respected people of the village requested the man to relinquish possession of the government canal but he did not heed such requests.
“Due to rain in the last few days, our homes and streets have gone underwater. We are suffering from waterlogging because of the occupation and filling of the government canal,” said some of the affected villagers. Among them were Jasim Uddin, Zakir Hossain, Zaida Akhter, Jahanara Begum, Asiya Begum and Hosna Begum.
Meraj has already sued 22 villagers in retaliation for their protests, they added.
However, the accused Mazharul Haque Meraj denied the allegations against him, saying it was not a government canal, but a drainage system running over his privately owned land. “There is no restriction in filling up my private land. I have decided to fill up my land much like other landowners, who are also doing the same.”
Speaking on the issue, Bhalakut Union Parishad Chairman Rubel Miya said: "We have tried to resolve this problem locally. But Mazharul does not want to listen to anyone. He has forcibly occupied the government canal and if anyone protests, he harasses him with a lawsuit. So far, he has filed two cases against local residents.”
Nasirnagar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Nazma Ashrafi confirmed that she had received a written complaint from Kandipurba. “Necessary steps will be taken after an active investigation in this regard.”