CHATTOGRAM, Feb 14: The eviction drive against 2,181 illegal establishments on the bank of the river Karnaphuli in Chattogram is yet to resume one year after a halt to it.
On February 11 last the High Court issued a fresh directive to the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) to evict all illegal establishments from the banks of the river within next three months and stop all utility services including gas, power, water and other supplies to the illegal establishments.
Sources said CPA Chairman Rear Admiral Zulfiquar Aziz appeared before the bench of Justice Md Ashfaqul Islam and Justice Mohammed Ali at the High Court on Tuesday last when the bench gave the directive.
Monjil Morshed appeared for the writ petitioners while Additional Attorney General Murad Reja and Barrister Imranul Kabir appeared for the CPA in the court.
According to sources, after a long legal process, the administration started the drive to evict all 2,181 illegal establishments on February 4 in 2019. It continued until February 9 in 2019. But, the authority suspended the drive for more preparation but the drive is yet to be started.
General Secretary of Bangladesh Environment Forum Aliur Rahman Rushai said, "It is unfortunate that the drive is suspended for unknown reasons. But, we demanded start of the drive as soon as possible to save the river Karnaphuli."
Chattogram DC Mohammed Ilias Hossain said, "We tried to evict all 2,181 illegal establishments on the bank of the Karnaphuli as per directives of High Court. But, the process was not started due to lack of fund. Honarable land minister declared to allocate fund in this regard. So, we held an emergency meeting and decided to start the eviction drive. Besides, we will also build the territory pillars of the river after completing the eviction of illegal establishments."
Sources said earlier the High Court directed the authorities to evict the 2,181 illegal establishments on the bank of Karnaphuli on August 16 in 2016. The High Court also directed the authority to serve notices on the concerned persons by giving 90 days' time from the date of receiving the directive of the High Court.