The government will take a project to relocate religious and educational establishments built within the boundaries of rivers in and around Dhaka, said State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury on Wednesday.
“We don’t want to evict religious structures. We’ve discussed with the government about whether it’ll be possible to build these structures in a planned way,” he said at the beginning of a meeting in this regard.
“We want to free the rivers surrounding Dhaka to make the city livable,” he told the meeting with officials of Religious Affairs Ministry, Islamic Foundation, BIWTA (Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority) and two Dhaka city corporations.
Khalid said 113 religious and educational establishments have been constructed along Buriganga, Turag, Balu, Shitalakshya and Daleshwari rivers.
Among these, there are 77 mosques, madrasas, orphanages, and shrines; five graveyards and places for washing dead bodies; an Eidgah; 14 schools and colleges; 13 temples, bathing places and crematoriums; and three other institutions.
“We’re yet to make any move against structures which are related to religious sentiments. Discussion is underway in this regard,” the state minister said.
He assured that these structures will be relocated after discussion. “No force will be applied,” he said. “We’ll only go for implementation when we reach an agreeable decision.”
Khalid said a survey is underway and there will also be a project. “It’ll be implemented after we get the government’s approval,” said Khalid.
When asked how long it might take, he said it is a long term process.
The state minister also warned against attempts to politicise the issue of relocating places of worships and spread misleading information.