No progress in relocating religious establishments  

Ershad Kamol | Published: 00:00, Oct 15,2019


No move was taken so far to relocate 45 mosques with madrassahs and a mandir from the banks of four rivers flowing by the capital in compliance with an inter-ministerial committee decision taken in February.

The committee following its meeting at the shipping ministry assigned Dhaka South City Corporation and Islamic Foundation to convince the mosques and the mandir management committees for relocating those while deputy commissioners of Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj were assigned to provide alternative plots.

Shipping secretary Md Abdus Samad told New Age on Sunday that the move came for making the rivers free of encroachments in compliance with the High Court Division order  declaring the rivers as living entities on February 4.

‘But, we got no progress report so far for relocation,’ the secretary said.

In January, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority submitted a list of the mosques with madrassahs and the mandir to the shipping ministry while demolishing over 5,000 illegal structures developed encroaching on the Buriganga, Turag, Balu and Sitalakkhya.

The mandir was built on the bank of the Balu River while mosques with madrassahs were built at different point of times on the banks of the Buriganga, Sitalakhya and Turag.

Dhaka South City Corporation mayor Sayeed Khokon said that he could not manage time to talk to the management committees of the religious establishments.

Dhaka’s additional deputy commissioner Abul Fateh Mohammad Shafiqul Islam said that the deputy commissioner’s office had not looked for khas lands for relocation as they had not received resolution of the inter-ministerial meeting for initiating action.

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority or Water Development Board had not even identified the mosques and the mandir required to be relocated, he claimed.

Gazipur deputy commissioner SM Tarikul Islam said he was not aware of relocation of the religious establishments as he was posted in last June.

‘I have to look at the records,’ he said.

Narayanganj deputy commissioner M Jasim Uddin also said he was posted in July and was not given a heads-up on the issue.

‘But, it will not be a tough task to provide khas lands for religious establishments,’ he said.

The shipping secretary said that another inter-ministerial meeting would be called soon to review the developments and taking actions for relocating religious establishments developed after grabbing lands of the rivers.

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority has placed a Tk 2430 crore revised beautification project to the shipping ministry for keeping Dhaka’s four rivers protected from the grabbers.

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