Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) yesterday demolished structures on 10 kathas of land in Banani occupied, as per Mayor Annisul Huq, for over five decades by the family of former East Pakistan provincial governor Abdul Monem Khan who had opposed Bangladesh's birth.
The structures include an automobile showroom, two rooms for security guards and boundary walls of holding no 110 on Banani Road 27.
The holding comprises a house, a mosque and a school on over five bighas of land allotted in the name of Monem Khan and his family members, who call it Bagh-e-Monem.
Containing some fruit bearing trees, the recovered land lies west of the Banani graveyard and 36 feet into Bagh-e-Monem from Bananai Road 27's footpath and merges with the airport road. Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) had entrusted the recovered land to the erstwhile Dhaka City Corporation as a green area.
DNCC and Rajuk jointly took possession of the recovered land three days back, fenced it off with corrugated metal sheets and started constructing a concrete wall.
Annisul told this paper that the recovered land could be spared for widening the road and footpath or greenery or a recreational area for the public.
No family members of Monem Khan could be readily reached for verification of their claim and possession during the drive.
Annisul told journalists there that no government agency had ever taken the initiative to reclaim the land. “It should be investigated,” he said.
The many wealthy people engaged in such malpractice should rectify the situation in public interest, he added.
He called upon the government to form a commission and a special court to reclaim illegally occupied public lands.
“Almost every industry and factory in Tejgaon occupies roadside public land...We fervently request all of them to free the lands or we will have no other option than to go for eviction,” said Annisul.