More than 117 acres of government land worth over Tk 1,000 crores have been recovered from the grip of encroachers from across the country during the last one year.
Investigations revealed that over the years, huge assets have been grabbed in the capital in the name of influential people, groups or influential organisations. Party leaders are using the lands for residential or commercial purposes. Many of them have also built structures on that gov't. land and were earning a steady income by renting those on a monthly basis.
These illegal activities are being sponsored by a class of unscrupulous officers of various government agencies. They are also enjoying financial benefits from being involved in such activities. These activities were also learnt to be operated outside of Dhaka.
It is learnt, some officials of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha - Rajuk and the National Housing Authority are allegedly involved in those illegal activities. These two government departments are also liable to the Ministry of Housing and Public Works.
Concerned sources informed several operations were conducted to recover government land from the grip of grabbers in the capital at different times. But, those operations could not proceed further due to unknown reasons.
Meanwhile, Awami League, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, started focusing on good governance after forming a government for the third term. SM Rezaul Karim was given the charge of the Minister of Housing and Public Works. Secretary of the Ministry Shaheed Ullah Khandaker was reappointed under contract basis after the expiry of his tenure for paying focus on the reclamation of government land.
When asked, SM Rezaul Karim said, “In the meantime, we have recovered 107 acres of government land. This campaign (of land reclamation) will continue. All sectors including the Ministry, National Housing Authority and the Rajuk are working sincerely. No matter how powerful the occupants are, this campaign will continue. The illegal occupants will be evacuated from the land.”
According to sources, after nearly 40 years, the National Housing Authority under the ministry recovered 10 acres of land from illegal occupants at Dhaka’s Dhamalkot Mouza. The land was occupied by an influential group and was being used for commercial purposes. Construction of residential flats has been started on the land freed from the occupiers.
Rajuk recovered 30 acres of land at Block Ka and Block Kha at Duwaripara area of Mirpur- 8 section of Dhaka. Plots have been allocated there among the people by following the rules. About one acre of land has also been acquired at Maizdi Housing Estate in Noakhali.
The newly appointed Chairman of Rajuk Saeed Noor Alam said, our government land evacuation activities will continue. I took charge of chairman recently and I also served as a member of Rajuk previously. I know the situation of the capital. The process of evacuating and acquiring of occupied land will speed up. In no way, we want to turn back.
S M Rezaul Karim said the government is working to ensure housing for all. Not just housing but safe housing. Plots for development and construction of flats across the country are also underway through the National Housing Authority for people of different classes, including the low and middle-income group people and the slum dwellers.