For the second consecutive day, a joint team of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and Dhaka district administration demolished illegal structures in Buriganga’s second channel yesterday.
The drive started around 10am, where 25 establishments that choked the channel were knocked down, bringing the total number of structures demolished to 34.
The latest eviction move came as the High Court on March 28 directed the government to evict 74 illegal structures from the channel in Hazaribagh and Kamrangirchar areas within three months.
In its order, the HC also asked the deputy commissioner (DC) of Dhaka and BIWTA to submit a compliance report to it by June 26.
The HC bench of Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore and Justice Mohammed Ullah passed the order while hearing a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) seeking necessary order.
“We have started excavating a 500ft wide and 1,000ft long channel after removing the truck stand that stood there. This portion of the land will be navigable by Wednesday,” said an official of BIWTA.
Contacted, BIWTA Joint Director Md Gulzar Ali said they will ask the HC for an extension of another two to three months for the completion of the works since it had to be delayed due to the ongoing pandemic.
“In these two days, we have managed to demolish 34 establishments, but we will need a few more months to demolish all 74,” Gulzar told this correspondent.
The structures razed yesterday include one five-storied building, one three-storied building, three two-storied buildings, four single-floor buildings, eight tin-sheds, and six half-completed structures.
The cadastral survey done in 1924 and the revised survey done in 1973 clearly show the 6.5km-long old channel of the Buriganga split into two flows separating Kamrangirchar and Jhau Char from Dhaka city, BIWTA officials said.
The old Buriganga channel started to disappear after the government built a power substation and the 30-Bed Kamrangirchar Hospital in the 1980s, after which hundreds of unauthorised structures were built here by influential people, said locals.