It seems flouting HC rulings on river protection has become something of a routine affair. The latest incident revolves around the filling up of 7 bighas of Buriganga river bank by sand traders. Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) remains strangely silent on this illegal activity. The so-called eviction drives conducted every now and then do little to protect rivers against sand traders and other occupiers. These river grabbers are merrily filling up portions of the river bank that BIWTA had earmarked for a second launch terminal.
Apparently the firm involved in the racket had been leased the area for the purposes of loading and offloading goods. And although BIWTA has issued two notices on the land filling activity, there has been no respite. Is it surprising that there has been no response when it is seen that the river authority is lacking teeth in confronting encroachers with eviction drives? Issuing letters citing violation of rules is meaningless unless followed up with action on the ground.
It is beyond our understanding as to why BIWTA lacks the courage to move forward on the issue when the High Court has passed a ruling to the effect that river land filling and trade in sand are illegal. It is high time that BIWTA authorities answer for their failure to uphold the law.