HC moved again to stop Turag fill-in

The High Court has been petitioned to instruct the government to stop illegal filling of the Turag River with sand and take necessary steps against perpetrators.

The bench of justices Syed Mahmud Hossain and Kamrul Islam Siddiqui set the hearing for Thursday.

Monjil Morshed filed the petition on behalf of Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh, a human-rights and environmental organisation.

The writ petition mentioned a May 24 High Court order on the government to take effective measures against erection of temporary or permanent installation on the Buriganga, Shitalakhya, Balu and Turag rivers skirting capital Dhaka.

The court also prohibited encroachment and land filling of all sorts on these rivers and define their natural boundaries and limits.

But, the petition said, land filling is still going on at Turag River despite the order, referring to a newspaper report on the issue.

Morshed told bdnews24.com that High Court had had ordered the government and its agencies to stop land filling in rivers around Dhaka, but they did not and so, the Turag is being land filled because of the inaction.

He said he filed the petition seeking a court order for a stop to illegal filling and steps against the perpetrators.

The government on June 4 told the court that it would take at least a year to stop pollution and illegal encroachment of rivers in the capital and on its fringes.

Director general of the Department of Environment Md Belal Hossain, land survey department director general Aslam Alam and the Bangladesh Inland Transport Authority chairman Abdul Mannan appeared before the High Court.

The court on June 25 ordered the government to accurately demarcate Dhaka’s river system within four months to protect the boundaries of the city’s major rivers.

It ordered the work to start no later than July 1.

The court served a number of directives on the government in a bid to safeguard the ecologically threatened Buriganga, Turag, Shitalakhha and Balu.

It had directed the deputy commissioners of Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gazipur and Munshiganj to demarcate the river boundaries, to prevent encroachment, after carrying out Cadestral Surveys.

The court also ordered the environment secretary to declare the four rivers ‘ecologically critical zones’.

It ordered the continued demolition of illegal structures encroaching the four rivers.


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