Status quo on Meghna encroachment
The High Court today issued status quo on earth filling and construction of structures in Meghna and Menikhali rivers in Sonargaon area in Narayanganj.
The court also directed the deputy commissioner of Narayanganj to submit a report before this court in 30 days detailing the names and addresses of the people who are reportedly constructing structures in the rivers.
At the same time, the court issued a rule asking the respondents to explain in four weeks why their inaction to stop the encroachment of rivers should not be declared illegal.
In the rule, the court asked them to show causes why they should not be directed to remove the earth and demolish the structures from the rivers to protect them.
Forest and environment secretary, director general of Department of Environment, chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, deputy commissioner and superintendent of police of Narayanganj, upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) and assistant commissioner of land of Sonargaon and officer-in-charge (OC) of Sonargaon Police Station have been made respondents to the rule.
The HC bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Ahmed Sohel came up with the order and rule following two separate writ petitions filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.
The petitioner’s lawyer Advocate Manzill Murshid told the court some influential people have been constructing structures encroaching land in Meghna and Menikhali rivers in violation of Environment Protection Act-1995 and Natural Water bodies’ Protection Act-2000.
But the respondents are remaining silence to take steps against the encroachment of the rivers. He prayed to the court to pass necessary orders to protect the rivers. Deputy Attorney General Mokhlesur Rahman appeared for the government.