Govt can construct in Suhrawardy Udyan, protecting environment: HC
The High Court today observed that the government can implement construction project in Suhrawardy Udyan, protecting the environment and historical elements.
The article 18A of the constitution and the spirit of the 2009 High Court verdict must be maintained in implementing the construction project, the HC bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice SM Maniruzaaman said while delivering order on a writ petition in this regard.
The article says, "The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to preserve and safeguard the natural resources, biodiversity, wetlands, forests and wildlife for the present and future citizens."
Following another writ petition, the HC on July 7, 2009 directed the government to identify and preserve all the important historic places related to the republic's Liberation War and to set up memorial monuments at the historic places at Suhrawardy Udyan, maintaining international standard so that people from home and abroad can pay homage to martyred freedom fighters.
The HC had ordered the government to take steps to protect and maintain the historic places at Suhrawardy Udyan where Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered his historic speech on March 7 in 1971 and where Pakistani army surrendered on December 16, 1971.
Suhrawardy Udyan also includes places where Bangabandhu gave his speech on January 10, 1972, after his return to the country from exile, and where Indira Gandhi, then prime minister of India, greeted Bangabandhu on March 17, 1972.
Today, the HC bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice SM Maniruzzaman, however, summarily rejected the writ petition filed seeking its directive on the government to refrain from any further tree felling in the historic Suhrawardy Udyan for commercial purposes.
The bench said the writ petition is not maintainable (acceptable) as the petitioners have not challenged the plan approved for implementing the construction project in Suhrawardy Udyan, and the government has suspended the tree felling there.
Additional Attorney General SK Md Morshed told The Daily Star there is no bar for the government to implement its constitution project in Suhrawardy Udyan following the HC order.
Writ petitioners' counsel Syeda Rizwana Hasan told this correspondent that the HC did not say in the order that no tree can be felled in Suhrawardy Udyan.
She said they are yet to decide whether an appeal will be moved before the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court challenging the HC order.
On May 9 this year, six rights organisations and an architect collectively filed the writ petition with the HC seeking its directive on the government to refrain from any further tree felling in the historic Suhrawardy Udyan for commercial purposes and/or for purposes not directly related to the preservation of the memories of the national liberation and historic war of independence.