Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) officials yesterday found and demolished two offices of the ruling party’s associate organisation, that were encroaching footpaths in Uttara.
The offices of Uttara-Purba Paschim Thana Swecchasebak League and Jubo League units were constructed temporarily, according to leaders of the respective organisations.
During an eviction drive to free the footpath from illegal encroachment launched yesterday, DNCC also demolished more than 300 other illegal structures, including tea stalls and parts of restaurants extending on the footpath.
The drive started at around 11:30am from Sonargaon Road and continued through different parts of Uttara, including Garib-e-Nawaz Avenue, Rabindra Sarani and the rear side of Mascot Plaza till 3pm.
Mostafa Sardar, assistant publicity affairs secretary of Uttara-Purba Paschim Thana Swecchasebak League, said, “It has been seven to eight years that the office has been here; since we didn’t have permanent office, we used it as our meeting place after office hours.”
A day before the drive, DNCC officials announced the eviction drive on loudspeakers. While most of the footpaths in Uttara were free from hawkers yesterday morning, some stalls were left closed on the footpath.
On the first day of the drive, DNCC’s Executive Magistrate Sajid Anowar said, “We announced in the area about the drive a day earlier, so that illegal structures or stalls are removed. Those who didn’t remove theirs, were demolished.”
One person was jailed for three months on charge of non-cooperation with DNCC, while another was sentenced by the mobile court to seven days’ jail for establishing illegal structure on footpath. Two buildings were also fined a total of Tk 3 lakh.
DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam, present during the drive, told journalists, “There are many who are occupying streets illegally and doing business. Some of them are building political offices... Due to this, pedestrians are bound to walk off the footpath.”
Warning the footpath grabbers, he said, “There will be no business on footpath and no political offices.”
DNCC has identified 102 footpaths that are illegally occupied.
Monitoring cells -- consisting of six members including councillors and officer-in-charge of the respective police stations -- have been formed at different wards to carry out drives to reclaim these.