A team of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) yesterday knocked down a four-story building and four dockyards illegally built in the Meghna river in Sonargaon.
The eviction team, backed by a mobile court, also brought down a boundary wall and auctioned 1.25 lakh cubic feet of sand used for filling at Tk 20 lakh, on the fifth day of its ongoing drive.
It also dismantled 12 unloading dredgers deployed for sand-filling on the river at the mouth of a nearby Meghna tributary.
The mobile court, led by deputy secretary and executive magistrate Mohammad Moniruzzaman Mia, arrested three people on charges of river-grabbing at Char Balaki, but later released them on an undertaking and fined two other workers with Tk 10,000 each for filling up the river with dredgers.
The team launched the day’s drive from Char Bayardi, Char Goaldi and Pirojpur Union of Sonargaon upazila in the morning, and continued until afternoon.
The executive magistrate said they knocked down a four-story building illegally built on the river Meghna as a recreation centre, five tin-sheds being used for filling up the river, a structure for building a jetty, four dockyards with as many vessels under construction and a total of 140-feet long boundary walls.
Md Gulzar Ali, joint director of BIWTA and Narayanganj river port officer, said the chairman of National River Conservation Commission recently visited the Meghna river along with BIWTA officials, and identified over a dozen well-known business congregates who have grabbed the river with sand-filling, factories and structures at different sites along the river in Sonargaon and Gazaria upazilas.
All river grabbers will be evicted in phases through drives after the Eid holidays, he added.