The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) yesterday knocked down 118 structures, including three two-storey buildings, in the city's Shaheed Nagar and Kamrangirchar areas as part of its ongoing drive to demolish illegal establishments along the Buriganga.
A BIWTA team, led by its Joint Director AKM Arif Uddin, conducted the drive on its seventh day in an area stretching from Balurghat of Shaheed Nagar to Betarighat of Kamrangirchar from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
As many as 1,306 structures have so far been knocked down in the drive, which will continue for six more workdays.
The BIWTA yesterday demolished three two-storey buildings, 38 semi-concrete buildings and 77 tin-shed structures.
“We have recovered around 3 acres of land of the Buriganga on the seventh day by demolishing the illegal structures,” said Arif.
He added they would conduct the drive in another area stretching from Kamrangichar's Nababchar to Basila today to recover the river from encroachment.
Earlier, the BIWTA identified 906 illegal structures along the bank of the Buriganga stretching from Sadarghat to Gabtoli. They started a 13-day drive on January 29 to evict all illegal establishments.
Influential people were behind the encroachment of the river, Arif observed.
“We will not bow down to anybody and will demolish every illegal structure as we are getting the necessary support from the administration, judiciary and people,” he added.
He said they would continue the drive for seven more days to free the rivers around the capital.
Under a new project, the government would set up some 12,000 demarcation pillars along the rivers in this regard.
A tender would be floated by this month and the work might start within the next three months. The government has already appointed a consultant to implement the Tk 850 crore project.
The government would also build some 50km-long walkways, plant trees along them, and set up three eco-parks at Shinnirtek, Tongi and Ashulia under the project.
The authorities would also build 19 jetties at Amin Bazar, Gabtoli, Kanchpur, Tanbazar, Machuwa Bazar, Khanpur and some other areas.