Railway knocks down 715 illegal structures
The railway authorities yesterday demolished around 715 illegal shops and establishments on railway land at Khilkhet in the capital but spared a thana level Awami League office.
Around 2,500 illegal structures, mostly commercial shops, have so far been demolished from Khilgaon to Khilkhet area in last seven days.
The authorities launched the drive on September 12 following a train accident that claimed four lives at Karwan Bazar.
Railway officials had earlier announced to conduct the drive till September 29 and resume it after the Eid break.
But they were compelled to postpone the drive during the hartal called by the Jamaat-e-Islam and BNP-led 20-party alliance due to lack of manpower from the police force, said a railway official.
Yesterday's drive began around 9:00am at Shewra near Dhaka Cantonment and demolished the illegal structures including a market at Khilkhet till 3:30pm.
The market housed around 150 shops, many of which surrounded the Khilkhet thana Awami League office. The drive demolished all the shops but did not touch the ruling party office.
Asked, Nurunnabi Kabir, divisional estate officer of railway, said they did not demolish the party office as they were told it had leased the land from the Railway Welfare Trust.
"We will take necessary action after verifying their claim," he added.
Several traders alleged the authorities had not warned them earlier and all of their goods got damaged because of that.
The railway officials, however, declined the allegations and said they informed the persons concerned before any drive.
Around one hour after the drive, several owners of the demolished shops were seen running their business on the same spot again.