Illegal filling of a water body, popularly known as 'Jorapukur', of Bangladesh Railway at Neamatpur in Saidpur upazila of Nilphamari goes on, ignoring a legal notice served by the authorities concerned, inset, foundation of a boundary wall of a proposed Eidgah laid by the lawmaker on the filled up water body on Monday. Photo: Star
Unauthorised filling of a 0.81-acre water body of Bangladesh Railway (BR) at Neamatpur in Saidpur upazila under the district is going on, despite a legal notice served by the lawyer of BR to a local lawmaker who inaugurated the work on June 14.
MP Shawkat Chowdhury, also opposition whip in parliament, on Monday laid foundation of the boundary wall of the Eidgah supposed to be made on the filled water body popularly known as 'Jorapukur'.
Railway authorities earlier leased the water body to a person for fish cultivation.
"As per a High Court order, none can change the original structure of any land owned by the railway. Violating the order, Whip Shawkat Chowdhury and others are filling the railway water body called Jorapukur," said advocate Rafiul Islam Khaja, lawyer of BR at Saidpur.
"I served a legal notice to the whip on July 17, requesting him to stop the earth filling work. The notice mentioned that otherwise the railway authorities would file a regular case against the persons responsible. The whip is yet to reply to the notice," he said.
Visiting the site on Tuesday noon, this correspondent found that the pond filling work was going on in full swing 'to complete the task before the Eid-ul-Fitr.'
Eighty percent of the filling has been done and the rest will be complete by a week, said Sultan Ali, president of ward No-5 unit of Jatiya Party, who was supervising the work.
Asked by the parliamentary committee on railway early July, BR officials concerned submitted a report regarding filling up of the water body, but there is no sign yet of stopping the work, BR sources said.
"Jorapukur is the only remaining water body in the municipality from which fire service men could procure water in time of any devastating fire," said Amzad Hossain Sarker, mayor of Saidpur municipality.
Contacted, lawmaker Shawkat Chowdhury said, "Jorapukur is not a water body but a ditch that creates an unhealthy situation for surrounding people and its filling is not unlawful.
“I have submitted a letter written on my official pad to the railway minister, requesting him to cancel the present lease of the ditch and allocate the place for an eidgah to meet local people's need,” he said.