A mobile court of Habiganj district administration in association with Water Development Board (WDB) during a three-day drive demolished 83 illegal structures built by encroachers on the Khowai river.
Various structures including houses and factory buildings were dismantled during the drive that started on March 30 and ended yesterday. It was conducted on the river's embankment from Kamrapur point to Chowdhury Bazar point.
The court was led by Executive Magistrates Yasin Arafat Rana and Md Anisur Rahman Khan.
Illegal structures on the other side of the river will be removed in phases, said Magistrate Rana.
Touhidul Islam, executive engineer of WDB in Habiganj, said the drive will resume on April 8.
They prepared a list under which 250 structures will be removed to save the Khowai river, he added.
The drive will be continued to protect the embankment from damage, said Mohon Lal Saikat, deputy assistant engineer of Habiganj WDB.
However, General Secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon's Habiganj chapter Tofazzal Sohel said even though more than a thousand illegal structures exist on the banks of the Khowai river in Habiganj Sadar upazila, the list made by the district administration identified only 250 encroachers.
To solve the problem once and for all, the authorities need to place pillars demarcating the river's area immediately, he added.
During a visit to the area yesterday, this correspondent found establishments belonging to many of the listed encroachers intact.