Posted on October 31, 2022
The High Court today (October 30, 2022) directed the government to identify those responsible for dredging 60 feet of the Dhanshiri River in Jhalakathi instead of dredging 300 feet and take appropriate legal action against them.
The deputy commissioner of Jhalakathi has been ordered to identify the persons responsible and the secretary to the water resources ministry and the director general of the Department of Environment have been asked to take legal action against them.
In response to a writ petition, the HC directed the authorities concerned to stop any further earth filling and construction of dams and structures in the river at Rajapur in the district.
They have also been asked to survey the boundaries of the river in 30 days, to identify the grabbers, prepare a list of their names and submit the list to the court.
The court also issued a rule asking the authorities to explain in four weeks why the inaction of the local administration to take action against the land grabbers, and why they should not be directed to evict encroachments and to dredge the river following the original boundaries.
The HC bench of Justice Md Ashfaqul Islam and Justice Md Shohrowardi came up with the directives and issued the rule following a writ petition filed by the rights organisation Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB).
The petition was filed seeking necessary directives on the authorities to save the Dhanshiri River in Jhalakathi from encroachment and pollution.
HRPB’s lawyer Manzil Murshid told The Daily Star that around 300 feet breadth of Dhanshiri River was supposed to be dredged for protecting the flow of its water, but only 60 feet breadth has been dredged reportedly and it is being done to remove the existence of Poet Jibanananda Das’ “Dhanshiri” poem.
The local administration is not taking any action to this effect, he said.