Legal action against grabbers of Shibbaria River soon
Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela) is preparing to take legal steps against the persons, who have grabbed Shibbaria River under Kalapara upazila of Patuakhali district.
A two-member team of the association on Monday visited different points of the river and collected information, list of the grabbers and other documents relating to river grabbing.
Lincoln Bayen, Barisal divisional coordinator of Bela and Md Wahiduzzaman, research officer of the association, visited Mohipur, Alipur, and Laxmibazar points that have already been grabbed by some influential people.
Lincoln Bayen said they visited the spots as per instructions from Bela headquarters in Dhaka to collect relevant information.
“We will send the documents to the head office as soon as possible,” he said, adding that the association will file a case with the court in this regard.
Shibbaria River is getting narrower day by day as influential people are grabbing it by building structures on both sides of the river.
Nearly 650 structures have been built over the last two years at Mohipur, Alipur and Laxmibazar points while more are under construction on the 20-km river, which falls into the Bay of Bengal in Kuakata.
Fishermen take shelter during floods, cyclones and other natural disasters in the river. But it is now losing its navigability due to indiscriminate grabbing.
They (fishermen) said they are facing trouble to reach the marketplaces at Mohipur and Alipur, famous for hilsa trading, due to the encroachment upon the river.
“The river will become unfit for use if the government does not take immediate steps to stop grabbing,” Fazlu Gazi, president of the Mohipur Fish Traders' Association, said.