Habiganj district administration during the second phase of the eviction drive to free the Khowai riverbank demolished a total of 112 unauthorised structures yesterday.
During the day-long drive, the district administration in cooperation with the Water Development Board (WDB) officials also freed around four acres of land in Khowai mukh area in the town from the illegal occupiers, Habiganj WDB Executive Engineer Touhidul Islam said.
Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Shakhawat Hossain Rubel, also the executive magistrates led the drive, he said.
Earlier, during the first phase of the eviction drive that started on March 30 and ended on April 1, they knocked down as many as 84 illegal structures on the riverbank stretching from Kamrapur to Chowdhury Bazar area in the town, he said, adding that a total of 7.6 acres of land worth Tk 7 crore were freed in the two phases of the eviction drive.
During a visit to the area yesterday this correspondent saw many illegal establishments have still remained intact.
Meanwhile, following objections from locals the authorities concerned had to step back from demolishing a mosque and a temple from the riverbank yesterday.
They didn't even touch the mosque and the temple as they do not want to hurt people's religious sentiment, Touhidul said, adding that they are conducting the drive to protect the river from encroachment.
Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon's (Bapa) Habiganj unit General Secretary Tofazzal Sohel said in the last 12 years they have observed numerous programmes, demanding to save the Khowai river from encroachment and pollution.
After a long wait the district administration has finally started the eviction drive to free the river from encroachment, he said.
Though there are over 1,000 illegal structures on the riverbank, WDB has prepared a list of 250 illegal structures to be removed in phases, Sohel added.