Hatirjheel-Begunbari project declared public trust property

Remove illegal structures, stop discharging waste into the lake

Published : 27 May 2022 07:18 PM

The High Court on Tuesday released full text of its judgement over Hatirjheel-Begunbari project. The court in its full text verdict, has issued four directives and nine recommendations in order to protect Hatirjheel-Begunbari project’s original character, beauty and water. Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh had filed the writ on August 1, 2018 in this regard.

The High Court had declared Hatirjheel-Begunbari project as a “Public Trust” and issued a 10-point direction, including demolishing of all commercial structures in the full text of its judgement passed on June 30, 2021. The court released the 55-page full text of the judgement and it was published on the website of the apex court on Tuesday.

The authorities concerned should evict 

illegal structures and commercial infrastructure 

from the Hatirjheel area immediately

The water and the aesthetic beauty of Hatirjheel are invaluable resources and none should be allowed to spoil those. All the commercial infrastructures built in the project area have to be demolished within 60 days of getting the full text, as no commercial infrastructure is allowed in the area. A separate body has to be formed to protect, develop and run the project and the body shall be governed under the supervision of Prime Minister's Office.

BUET Engineering Department should be appointed as the permanent adviser of the project, and Bangladesh Army's 24th Brigade should remain as joint adviser. Underground toilets should be built for the public in the area while clean drinking water should be arranged in the project area.

The beauty of Hatirjheel is fading away due to setting up structures and commercial infrastructures illegally  As a result, a sorry state is prevailing in and around the Hatirjheel area. There are a number of sewerage connections underwater that dump garbage directly in the lake. As long as it continues, the situation will not improve. This is one of the key reasons behind the sorry state of the lake.

Operation of water taxi service should be stopped while separate lanes should be kept for walking, cycling and movement of the disabled persons. The authorities concerned should evict illegal structures and commercial infrastructure from the Hatirjheel area immediately. Following the court order, the authorities concerned must carry out all out measures in order to find out a swift and sustainable solution to the crisis.