Bangladesh Railway (west zone) resumed the eviction drive to remove illegal structures from its land in Rajshahi city yesterday, over a year after they were forced to suspend it before the city corporation polls in July last year.
The drive was conducted on both sides of 2.5km railway track from Kashidanga to Bahrampur and Rajshahi University station areas. Assisted by police, railway authorities demolished several hundred thatched houses, tin-roof shops and concrete structures.
While visiting the areas, many people, who became homeless due to the drive, were seen wailing next to their dismantled homes. In some places, they tried to stop the drive, but to no avail.
The drive would continue, said Abdul Mannan, railway's chief estate officer (west zone). He said the authorities announced the drive through loudspeakers for over a week.
He said out of 40,000 acres of railway land in the zone, some 2,000 acres have been illegally occupied, which often hampers rail movement.
The authorities began the drive on December 4, 2017. They had to postpone it following request from top Awami League leaders. The AL leaders then claimed that the drive might affect results of the July 30 polls.