Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) yesterday knocked down 290 structures -- including three two-storey buildings -- in the city's Islambagh of Lalbagh yesterday, as part of their ongoing drive to demolish illegal establishments along the Buriganga river.
A mobile court led by Joint Director of BIWTA AKM Arif Uddin started the sixth day's drive, stretching from Loharpool to Kamalbagh from around 10:30am till 4pm.
With the numbers, a total of 1,198 structures have been knocked down so far in the drive, which will be continued for seven more working days.
On the sixth day, BIWTA demolished three two-storey buildings, 23 semi-concrete buildings and 257 tin-shed structures.
BIWTA had earlier identified 906 illegal structures along the bank of the river, stretching from Sadarghat to Gabtoli, but during the drive found the number to be higher.
They started a 13-day drive on January 29 to evict all illegal structures and free Buriganga from encroachers.
The joint director of BIWTA said influential people are behind the encroachment.
“We will not bow down to anybody and will demolish every illegal structure; we are getting the support of administration, judiciary and people,” said Arif.
The joint director said Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority will continue the drive for seven more days to free the rivers surrounding the capital.
Under a new project, the government will install some 12,000 demarcation pillars along Dhaka rivers, to protect those from encroachers.
A tender for the work is expected to be floated by this month, and work of pillar installation may begin in the next three months.
The government has already appointed a consultant to implement the Tk 850 crore project.
Under the new project, the government will build some 50km of walkways, plant trees along the walkways and set up three eco-parks at Shinnirtek, Tongi and Ashulia.
The authorities will also build 19 jetties, including at Amin Bazar, Gabtoli, Kanchpur, Tanbazar, Machuwa Bazar, and Khanpur.