The authorities yesterday launched a massive eviction drive to free the Lauhajang river from illegal occupiers in Tangail municipality area.
Tangail district administration has started the first phase of the long awaited eviction drive in one and a half kilometres area stretching from Housing Estate area to Beradoma area under the municipality.
The authorities concerned have already published a list of the grabbers and placed demarcation pillars on the river land.
Originating from the Dhaleshwari river in Baisnabbari area in Sadar upazila, the 76-kilometre-long river flows through the district town and falls into the Bangshai river in Jamurki area under Mirzapur upazila.
In the first day, around 50 illegal structures including a number of high-rise buildings were demolished from both sides of the river.
Prior to the drive, Tangail Deputy Commissioner (DC) Mohammad Shahidul Islam gave necessary instructions to the people concerned at a gathering held near the Zila Parishad Office and then went to the river area with a procession comprising of people from all walks of life.
Expressing his firm determination to free the river from illegal occupation and pollution, the DC also sought support from all to make the initiative a success.
The authorities concerned have detected over 450 illegal structures on the Louhajanj river banks in Sadar upazila, he said.
"We have launched different campaigns in the last one month. As a result, many of the occupiers have already removed their illegal structures on their own before the eviction drive," DC Shahidul said.
The district administration in future will arrange accommodation for those who have no other shelters, he said, adding that they have a plan to construct a four-storey building in the town to rehabilitate the poor who lost their dwellings in the drive.
The important river, a lifeline for the town dwellers, has become almost dead due to mindless encroachment.
On November 29, 2016, the district administration started an eviction drive to free the river from illegal occupation, but later suspended it due to unknown reasons.