The High Court yesterday again directed the Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) chairman to remove all illegal structures along the Karnaphuli river in the port area and submit a report after complying with the order within three weeks.
It also asked the chairman to explain in three weeks as to why his office had not implemented its previous order over the removal of illegal structures.
The HC bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal passed the order while hearing a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) seeking a necessary order in this regard.
HRPB lawyer and its President Manzill Murshid told The Daily Star that the same HC bench on April 9 this year ordered the CPA chairman to immediately take necessary steps to remove illegal structures along the Karnaphuli river and submit a report before it after complying with the directive within 30 days.
The CPA chairman yesterday submitted a report before the HC through his lawyer, saying that his office could not abide by its directive for different reasons, including pressure from some quarters.
The CPA chairman’s compliance report was vague and contemptuous, Manzill added.
Md Salahuddin appeared for the CPA chairman.
During yesterday’s hearing, Manzill told the court that some of the illegal structures were demolished following a 2016 HC directive. But there are other structures along the river that need to be knocked down in line with its earlier directive.
On August 16, 2016, in response to a writ petition filed by HRPB, the HC directed the authorities to remove 2,181 illegal structures from the river banks.
The HC asked the Chattogram deputy commissioner to issue a circular in two local newspapers within seven days after receiving the full judgement, asking owners of the structures to relocate those.
If the structures are not relocated within 90 days, the authorities will dismantle those, the HC had ruled.
Earlier, the DC submitted a report to the HC, saying that 2,181 structures had been illegally built there.