Chattogram district administration demolished at least 30 structures along Karnaphuli River and another 40 structures were removed by grabbers on their own, on the second day of the eviction drive that was launched on Monday.
The bulldozed structures, at Mazirghat of Sadarghat area, included various types of warehouses where rice, salt, and sugar used to be stored.
Tahmilur Rahman, assistant commissioner (Land) of Patenga who is supervising the demolition, told The Daily Star that on the second day they pulled down 30 structures.
“The grabbers also removed their illegal structures on their own before the eviction drive. In total, 70 structures have been removed on the second day [yesterday] in Mazirghat area,” Tahmilur added.
The High Court in 2012 ordered the district administration to conduct a survey to assess how much of Karnaphuli River was grabbed, and prepare a list of the illegal grabbers. After three years of survey, Chattogram district administration submitted the report which contained at least 2,109 illegal structures built on one bank of the river up till 2015.
On August 16, 2015, the HC again ordered the same authorities to demolish the settlements within six months, with three months' time given to grabbers to remove the structures on their own.
The authorities could not comply with the order apparently due to a fund crisis, which prevailed for the next three years. Finally, the land ministry provided the necessary funding, allowing the authorities to go ahead with the eviction.