The High Court has issued a status quo for three months on encroachment, land grabbing, earth filling and operating brick kilns on Bhadra and Hori rivers in Khulna's Dumuria upazila.
In response to a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), the court yesterday ordered the authorities concerned of the government to submit a report after complying with the directive.
The writ petitioner said the lawmaker from Khulna-5 constituency (Dumuria-Phultola) and former Fisheries and Livestock Minister Narayan Chandra Chanda, Dumuria upazila Chairman Ajaz Ahmed, local union parishad Chairman Humayun Kabir Bulu and many others are reportedly involved with the encroachment, land grabbing and operating brick kilns in river land areas.
Yesterday, the HC also issued a rule asking the authorities to explain in four weeks why their inaction to stop encroachment, land grabbing, earth filling and operating brick kilns in the rivers should not be declared illegal.
In the rule, the HC asked the respondents to show cause why they should not be directed to stop such acts and to remove the dams built in the rivers by influential men.
Secretary to the ministries local government and rural development, water resources, land, and environment and forest, director general of department of environment, deputy commissioner of Khulna, assistant commissioner (land) of Dumuria upazila, and other officials concerned of the government and the local elected representatives concerned have been made respondents to the rule.
Besides, the court ordered the deputy commissioner of Khulna and assistant commissioner (land) to conduct a survey to determine the boundaries of Bhadra and Hori rivers and to submit the report in 90 days.
The HC bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Md Kamrul Hossain Mollah came up with the order and rule after hearing the writ petition filed by HRPB on February 22 seeking necessary directives on the government to take steps to ensure free flow of water of the rivers.
The HRPB submitted the writ petition as a public interest litigation to the HC on February 22 following a report published on The Daily Star on February 12 under the headline "Brick Kilns in Khulna's Dumuria: United they".