Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) has started excavating the dead Lautala canal after freeing it from the illegal occupants at Basila in the capital’s Mohammadpur area.
Under the direction of DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam, DNCC Executive Magistrate Mutakabbir Ahmed conducted a mobile court on Sunday and Monday for freeing the canal and its re-excavation.
Some land grabbers, who are members of local the unit of the ruling party, obstructed when the mayor and his team started dismantling the structures.
“Many people grabbed both the banks of the canal with illegal structures. We are conducting the drive to evict them,” the mayor said.
Earlier, the office of inter-districts truck drivers’ union was razed to the ground. A kitchen market set up by Mohmamadpur Mohila Awami League and more than 21 tin-roofed houses and shops were also bulldozed.
“I am getting support from the people in the eviction drive. We must continue our eviction drive to ensure a connection of the canal with Buriganga and we will not care what comes to our way. As some people have constructed buildings illegally, we will not talk to anyone before dismantling it. We don’t care the size of it,” the mayor said.
DNCC has a plan to construct walkway along the canal so that none can grab it again, he said.
A 2.5 kilometre stretch of the canal’s one side along the Bosila-Mohammadpur road is still in existence while the other side that was connected to the Ramchandrapur canal lost its existence due to the illegal grabbing.
A truck stand and a two-storey office building was constructed on the north side of the road grabbing land while Momtaj market, Akota kitchen market were constructed illegally on the east side of the terminal.
Earlier, the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka district administration also conducted separate drives to evict the illegal structures from both sides of the river Buriganga.
A total of 66 truckloads of sand and waste have been removed from Tanky Ghat area.
A group of unscrupulous people has grabbed a huge area of the Buriganga Adi (Old) channel at the city’s Tanky Ghat area under Kamrangirchar by dumping sand and waste, BIWTA sources said.
“We are preparing a list of illegal structures along the Buriganga Adi Channel stretching from Islambagh to Basila. The district administration is preparing the list. We will get the list soon and the riverbanks would be freed from encroachments at any cost,” said the sources.