The Bangladesh Inland Water Authority (BIWTA) along with Narayanganj and Dhaka district administrations yesterday razed 35 structures, including a large concrete jetty and a sawmill, built illegally on the Shitalakhya and Buriganga rivers.
Notable structures knocked down were a reinforced concrete jetty of a salt factory and two semi-concrete warehouses built illegally on the foreshore of the Shitalakhya in Murapara of Baniadi mouja in Rupganj, Narayanganj.
The BIWTA along with Narayanganj's district administration carried out the drive before pulling down half a dozen makeshift structures used as shops in the same locality.
Replying to a question, BIWTA Deputy Director Alamgir Kabir said there was no scope for building such a jetty on the river's foreshore and bed.
One has to build it on one's own land and obtain BIWTA's licence for loading and unloading of goods, he said. The jetty had been built over a decade back, he added.
As to why they did not remove it in the past years, Alamgir said, “The authorities had not decided to demolish the jetties till now. But the district administration wanted this jetty to be knocked down.”
The three-day eviction drive will continue today and tomorrow in and around Narayanganj river port area. Meanwhile, BIWTA's two-day drive jointly with the Dhaka district administration concluded yesterday with the demolition of four concrete boundary walls of different private dock yards and one boundary wall of the Fisheries Development Corporation on the Buriganga at Char Meererbagh in Keraniganj.
They also knocked down a 120 sq ft one-story concrete structure, a semi-concrete shed, a 60 sq ft sawmill, and 15 makeshift structures in Meererbagh opposite to Shyambazar.
The grabbers had encroached upon the river even beyond the boundary demarcation pillars set up faultily excluding the foreshore, said Saiful Islam, BIWTA joint director.
In both drives, the authorities used powerful tugboats to pull down the structures, while the police force led by executive magistrates maintained law and order.