National River Protection Commission chairman Mujibur Rahman Hawlader on Tuesday directed the authorities concerned to remove illegal establishments from the banks of the Rivers Karnaphuli and Halda.
He slammed agencies concerned for not taking stern action against the illegal occupants of the banks of the two important rivers in Chittagong division.
For lack of Tk 100 crore allocations, the local administration cannot evict illegal occupants but without proper planning Chittagong Development Authority got Tk 5,000 crore for a project to address water stagnation, he said addressing a seminar.
Divisional commissioner office of Chittagong organised the seminar titled ‘present situation of the rivers of Chittagong Division, existing problems and the way forward’ at the city’s Circuit House Auditorium.
The CDA already started the project but how they could do so without removing illegal establishments on the banks of canals, the river commission wondered.
‘If we want to save the country, we must save the existing rivers. We have to take stern action against the illegal occupants and polluters. If necessary, we’ll a make a list of polluters and encroachers and publish it in media,’ he warned.
At the seminar, additional divisional commissioner (revenue) Mominur Rashid and Bangladesh Water Development Board Chittagong executive engineer Biddut Kumar Saha presented the keynote paper.
Divisional commissioner of Chittagong Md Abdul Mannan, river commission member Md Alauddin, additional divisional commissioner Shankar Ranjan Saha, Local Government Division director Dipak Chakrobarty, Chittagong deputy commissioner Mohammad Elius Hossain and Chittagong University zoology professor Manzurul Kibria were present among others.
Earlier, in the morning, a procession was brought out to make people aware about encroachment, pollution and navigability of rivers.
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