Dhaka, Sept 16 (UNB) - The High Court on Sunday ordered for maintaining the status quo on earth filling and construction of structures along the Meghna and Menikhali rivers in Sonargaon of Narayanganj.
An HC bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Ahmed Sohel passed the order after hearing two separate writ petitions filed under public interest litigation.
Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh earlier on September 9 filed the writ petitions.
The court also directed the deputy commissioner of Narayanganj to form a committee to look into the matter and submit a report within 30 days mentioning the names and addresses of individuals and companies who had been occupying the rivers.
At the same time, it issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain in four weeks as to why their inaction to stop the encroachment on rivers should not be declared illegal, said petitioner’s lawyer Advocate Manzill Murshid.
The rule also wanted to know as to why they should not be directed to remove the earth and structures from the rivers.
Forest and environment secretary, director general of the Department of Environment, chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, deputy commissioner and superintendent of police of Narayanganj, upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) and assistant commissioner of land of Sonargaon and officer-in-charge (OC) of Sonargaon Police Station have been made respondents to the rule.
Manzill Murshid said some influential people have been constructing structures encroaching on the Meghna and Menikhali rivers violating the Environment Protection Act-1995 and Natural Water Body Protection Act-2000.