RAJUK'S, or for that matter, the government's lack of will to exercise its authority to protect environmentally-sensitive rivers, floodplains and wetlands from grabbers has again been demonstrated from the half-hearted drive that it launched on Sunday. The move to evict an illegal structure built in the flood flow plain of Turag river in Tongi proved cosmetic.
As reported in the Monday's issue of this paper, a Rajuk executive magistrate, who had gone to dismantle the building of a proposed spinning mill, ended up merely tearing a hole into its wall after a few hours labour put in by a handful of poorly equipped workers. Given this city development body's resource constraints, as admitted by a Rajuk official, it's not at all certain if and when another drive with be made to evict the illegal building in case its owner fails to meet the promise he made to knock it down on his own.
But more important than whether the owner of this unauthorised building will keep his promise, or if the Rajulk will launch yet another drive to demolish it, is the fact that the owner of this project has been carrying out his illegal activities for so long with impunity under the nose of the administration. We further fail to understand, how the Tongi municipality or the Inland Water Transport Authority could give the approval, as claimed by the owner, to set up the proposed mill encroaching the river Turag. This, when a High Court directive is in force to demarcate rivers concretely and ensure that they are protected by green zones around them!
In the end, we would stress the urgent need to implement the court orders to protect rivers by evicting the grabbers.