Sonargaon Farmland: SC extends stay on earth filling
The Supreme Court yesterday extended its earlier order that asked the authorities concerned to stop sand and earth filling of farmlands and wetlands around Meghna river in six moujas of Narayanganj's Sonargaon upazila.
The apex court also directed the High Court bench led by Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury to expeditiously hear and dispose of a rule issued by the HC in 2014, questioning the legality of earth and sand filling.
The six moujas are: Pirojpur, Jainpur, Chhoyhissa, Char Bhobonathpur, Batibandhha and Ratanpur.
A seven-member bench of the SC's Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order after hearing a petition filed by Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela).
Bela's lawyer Advocate Syeda Rizwana Hasan told The Daily Star that the apex court order will continue until the HC delivers a verdict on its 2014 rule.
On November 5, Narayanganj Deputy Commissioner Rabbi Miah appeared before the apex court as per its earlier order. He had produced some photographs before the judges, saying no earth and sand filling is taking place in the agricultural land and wetlands in six moujas.
Following Bela's petition, the apex court on August 14 had ordered Sonargaon Economic Zone's Managing Director Md Noor Ali to refrain from sand and earth filling of farmlands and wetlands around Meghna river in the six moujas.
The highest court also ordered the Narayanganj DC to halt the earth filling and remove whatever has been dumped, in compliance with the HC order and an order by the DC.
DC Rabbi Miah, in the October 2016 letter, asked the local Upazila Nirbahi Officer to halt the work, remove whatever has been dumped and take legal action against the offender in keeping with the HC's ban.
On March 2, 2014, following Bela's writ petition, the HC directed Unique Properties Development Ltd, a private housing company, to stop further filling up of land for establishing its Sonargaon Resort City, a housing project, at Sonargaon upazila.
The court also ordered it to remove the soil it had already dumped in the project area and advertisements from its website within the next two months.
Advocate AM Aminuddin, Advocate Minhazul Haque Chowdhury and Advocate Sayeed Ahmed Kabir appeared for Bela.