Habiganj district administration during their second consecutive day of drives yesterday demolished 30 illegal structures on both banks of the Old Khowai river in Habiganj Sadar upazila.
Yesterday’s drive, carried out from 10:00am till 5:00pm in Machulia area of Habiganj municipality, was led by Executive Magistrate Anisur Rahman Khan. A large contingent of police and officials of upazila administration assisted the drive.
On the first day of the drive, led by Deputy Revenue Collector Yasin Arafat Rana, tore down a couple of two-storey buildings and five semi-concrete buildings.
Yasin said they recovered around 200 decimals of land on the first day by demolishing the structures built illegally on the Old Khowai.
The drive would continue in other areas to save the river from fully from encroachers, he added.
Shakhawat Hossain Rubel, Habiganj upazila nirbahi officer, said influential people were behind the river’s encroachment, but the eviction drive is getting all necessary support from the administration.
Every single illegal structure will be taken down and they will not bow down to anyone, he also said.
Tofazzal Sohel, general secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon’s Habiganj unit, said they observed various programmes for the last 12 years, seeking action against the encroachers and the district administration has finally started the drive to free the river from encroachment.
The encroachers may reoccupy the recovered land unless the river area is demarcated immediately with permanent pillars, he observed.
Stern action would be taken if anyone rebuilds structures on the recovered land of the river, assured Yasin Arafat Rana, the deputy revenue collector.
Mahmudul Kabir Murad, deputy commissioner of Habiganj, said they would continue the drive to free a five-kilometre-long stretch of the Old Khowai around Habiganj town.