The district administration in Munshiganj violated law by leasing out a 12-acre foreshore and floodplains of the Meghna in Char Betagi, said National River Conservation Commission Chairman Muzibur Rahman Howlader.
A river under onslaught. An open defiance of a High Court order. And inept river custodians.
A team of soon-to-retire engineers and an administration official are leaving for the US and the UK on a two-week trip ostensibly to learn about digging canals, protecting river banks, restoring embankments, and dredging rivers, which they had been doing for over three decades.
What was once considered encroachment has become outright murder. But the seriousness of the crime has done little to deter a carnival of corruption plaguing river management.
The apex court in 2009 directed the government to demarcate the original territory of the four Dhaka rivers -- Buriganga, Turag, Balu Shitalakhya -- restore those rivers to their original state and protect them against grabbing and from pollution.
Over 95 percent of the structures under Rajuk’s jurisdiction were built without building approval, according to survey findings for the ongoing revision of the capital city’s Detailed Area Plan (DAP).
Despite tragic loss of lives and properties in repeated building disasters, the country’s national building code has been lying largely unimplemented for 26 years, getting obsolete in the absence of an enforcement authority, said leading professionals.
The deplorable conditions of the rivers around Dhaka city and elsewhere in the country due to encroachment and pollution are the result of inaction of the river custodians and their complicity with the grabbers for decades, National River Conservation Commission Chairman Muzibur Rahman Howlader has said.