Meghna Group has continued its river grabbing spree for years despite the government’s ongoing drive to protect the rivers in the country.The business group has already grabbed 2-km stretch of the bank of the Meghna River in Sonargaon Upazila under Narayanganj.Land filling and construction work on the riverbank bear a testimony to the illegal activities of the Group.Unleashing a reign of terror, the company continues to grab lands of common people, local people alleged.During an on-the-spot visit, it was found that over 500-feet stretch of the riverbank are being filled by the company.Meghna Group is not only grabbing the river but also encroaching upon local Anandabazar market in Badyerbazar Union.The business group has allegedly grabbed 200 bighas of land at Narsuldi, Purba Damodar, Tengar Char, and Nayapara mouza.Besides, it has taken illegal possession of 100 bighas of land at Sai Hisya, Kandargaon, Jainpur, Char Bhabanathpur, Dudhgata and Kurbanpur.
Ahsan Ullah, a resident of Sai Hisya, alleged that Meghna Group illegally occupied 16 decimals of his land through forgery.The company grabbed 16 decimals of land from villeger Hakimun, 0.1380 decimals from Hakimun, 0.2800 decimals from Tamiz, 0.0400 decimals from Moharaj, 0.1820 decimals from Rahmat Ali, 0.53 decimals from Mojibor, 0.28 decimals from Ayesha, 0.0754 decimals from Mohammad Ali, 0.1970 decimals from Nasimuddin, 0.2050 decimals from Abu Sayed, and 0.2800 decimals from Alauddin.The properties have been grabbed through forgery of deed, many affected people alleged.The Group has also illegally occupied land many points of Marikhali riverbank.Besides, it has filled 1,500 bighas of Randir canal and constructed a boundary wall around it.
Meanwhile, the company built a boundary wall around 50 feet of Anandabazar and 700 feet of river bank occupied by it. The company is constructing illegal structures and jetty in Haria area.A section of local officials at the Department of Environment (DoE), Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), UNO office and AC Land office are hand in gloves.They are allegedly getting illegal money from Meghna Group and playing role of silent spectators.Aggrieved people protested the land grabbing by forming human chain and submitting memorandum to the authorities concerned but in vain.Experts said that any company needs an environment clearance certificate before starting any project.But, Meghna Group is setting up physical structures and implementing mega projects without conforming to this rule.Sonargaon UNO Anjan Kumar said nobody will be allowed to grab land. He vowed to take action against land grabbers.AC Land Nazmul Hossain said, “I have joined the place recently. I will verify the allegation and take action against anybody, if found guilty.”The Narayanganj BIWTA assistant director said a four-member committee has been formed to scan river grabbers.Echoing the above views, DoE deputy director Md Sayed Anwar said, “We will evict all illegal structures through mobile court drives.”