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46 illegally built religious structures on rivers
Turag river on way to extinction

46 illegally built religious structures on rivers

Dhaka, Feb 13 – The government has decided to relocate 46 religious structures that built illegally alongside the riverbanks of Buriganga, Turag and Shitlakhya.
The shipping ministry has given responsibility to the mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) to arrange lands for relocating these religious establishments, chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water
Transport Authority (BIWTA) Commodore M Mozammel Haque told The Independent yesterday.
The committees of religious establishments like mosque and temple agreed to relocate their structures if the authority concerned arrange for lands, he said.
“Though these religious establishments have constructed illegally in the riverbanks—we don’t want to demolish them in our ongoing eviction drive considering the matter is highly sensitive. So, we have
decided to relocate these religious establishments,” the BIWTA chairman said in reply to a query.
According to Haque, the ministry would take immediate action after coordination with the concerned ministries to re-construct or renovation of 13 low-height bridges, which are major barrier for
movement of water vessels in the circular waterways around the city.
When contacted DSCC chief resources officer Md Asaduzzaman, told this correspondent, no such meeting held yet.
“It is not a difficult task to construct new places of worships by demolishing ones. Besides, it is totally illegal to construct religious establishments, even in the eye of religion, without documentation from proper authorities,” he said in reply to a query.
The BIWTA chairman Commodore M Mozammel Haque said, a total of 12,863 illegal structures so far been demolished between 2010 and January 26, 2019.
Besides, a total of 521.62 acres of river banks have reclaimed through eviction from encroachment within this period, he added.
According to Haque, a total of 10 acres of river banks have been freed from encroachment under the ongoing eviction drive from January to February 7.
He further said, as part of its 11-day drive, the BIWTA has pulled down a total of 118 illegal structures on the banks of the Buriganga river on Tuesday. – Staff Reporter