Eviction drive starts to free Bankkhali river

Published : 28 Feb 2023 09:47 PM

The administration has started an operation to evict the illegal structures built on the banks of the Bankkhali river in Cox's Bazar. Various incidents took place throughout the day on the bank of Bankkhali with this evacuation operation. Occupiers have made various efforts to prevent the eviction of illegal structures. There have also been incidents of attacks on journalists. Journalist organizations have expressed concern over this. On Tuesday, from 10 am to 6 pm, the administration announced the eviction of more than 300 illegal structures with 9 SK betters. Additional Jalal Magistrate also said that this operation will continue for a few more days.

Additional District Magistrate of Cox's Bazar district administration led the evacuation. Abu Sufian said that in Kasturaghat of Cox's Bazar, more than 600 hectares of river, canal and sandbanks have been destroyed and filled and constructions have been constructed. Where more than 600 buildings have been built. There is an eviction order from the High Court. According to the directive, the evacuation operation was started from 10 am on Tuesday. Which continues till 6 pm.

He said that more than 300 structures were evacuated on the first day of the evacuation operation in the presence of the officials of various departments including the Department of Environment, Forest Department, BIDBUTA. All other evacuations will take a few more days to complete.

Bankkhali River, known as the life of tourist city Cox's Bazar, is in crisis due to encroachers. Along with this, the Parabon along the river is endangered. In addition to occupying the banks as desired, the surrounding forest of about 600 hectares is destroyed, and the work of filling and making plots is going on. Buildings are being built one after another.

President of Cox's Bazar Citizen Forum Abu Nacher Helal Uddin said that the list of those involved in river encroachment and forest destruction includes influential people, businessmen, political leaders and even public representatives.

 By managing the local administration, related departments and law enforcement forces, these encroachments, destruction of forests and construction of structures have been carried out day and night. He thanked and thanked the administration for starting the operation on the orders of the High Court.

Cox's Bazar Additional District Magistrate Md. Abu Sufian said that the land to be evicted belongs to the river. It will be returned to the river. For this, these lands will be handed over to BIWT.

Additional District Magistrate Abu Sufian said the evacuation is ongoing. Many are creating obstacles in the eviction by bringing lawyers. But this eviction was ordered by the High Court. The campaign will continue until all illegal structures in the river are cleared. He also said to take legal action against Abdul Khalek who attacked the journalists.

The General Secretary of Cox's Bazar Press Club demanded legal action against those who attacked journalists. Mujibul Islam. He said that such an incident was publicly identified as an occupant. It is important for the administration to take action against him as soon as possible.

Nayansheel, Deputy Director of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority BIWTA, said that the government appointed BIWT A as the conservator of the Bankkhali river port through a notification dated February 6, 2010. The notification contained instructions to convey 721 acres of riverside land to BIWTA. Later, due to the objection of the district administration of that time, the land was re-jointly surveyed on December 20, 2020. 269.425 acres of land were determined in the survey.

In a report sent to various organizations on behalf of BIWTA, it has been said that the Bankkhali river port is not being implemented, the bank land is getting vacant. Influential people in Cox's Bazar are associated with river occupation. The organization identified 131 people involved in river encroachment in its investigation report and wrote to the concerned departments including the district administration to evict the encroachers.

After the full hearing of a writ of the High Court in this regard, in 2016, instructions were given to convey the river banks to BIWTA within 60 days of the verdict. But it has not been implemented till date.

Separate reports by the Department of Environment, National River Protection Commission and BIWTA have identified 131 people involved in embezzlement of the Bankkhali river. Among them, more than half a hundred people are involved in the destructive activities around the newly built bridge. There are many cases against 23 of them for environmental destruction.

Meanwhile, the High Court has once again given instructions to ensure the eviction of river bank encroachments. In the light of that instruction, miking was done on Monday. In that miking, it is requested to remove the goods on their own initiative. As announced, the task force has launched an operation to de-occupy the Kastuoraghat area of Bankkhali bank from Tuesday morning. Additional District Magistrate (ADM) of Cox's Bazar. Abu Sufian and Executive Magistrate Masum Billah led the operation in which RAB, Police, Department of Environment, Fire Brigade participated.