The National River Conservation Commission has recommended immediate closure of Arisha Economic Zone and Miasha Group power plant, owned by ruling Awami League lawmaker for Dhaka-14 Md Aslamul Haque, for the protection of Buriganga and Turag rivers.
The economic zone and the power plant were constructed on 54 acres of land, 12.78 acres of which were grabbed from the rivers’ land and rest are on river banks and flood flow zones, at Washpur and Ghatarchar mouzas at Keraniganj and at Shamlapur mouza at Savar, said the commission in a report, prepared on November 9.
The commission prepared the report to comply with a High Court directive, issued on September 7, asking the commission to explain whether Arisha Economic Zone and Miasha Group’s power plant were constructed on the boundary of the Buriganga and Turag rivers.
The High Court also asked the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority to maintain status quo over the possession or position of the land in question until the disputes are settled.
The High Court issued the directive after hearing a writ petition filed by Aslam challenging the legality of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority’s eviction drive against his businesses structures built on the land of rivers.
Supreme Court lawyer Manzill Murshid told New Age on Wednesday that he received a copy of the river commission’s report, which would be submitted to the High Court next week for further hearing.
Manzill said that the commission appointed him as the lawyer to oppose Aslam’s writ petition.
The commission also recommended shifting the economic zone and the power plant to other places and restoring the places to their original states.
The commission said that there is no scope of constructing such structures in the name of economic zone and power plant by encroaching river lands.
Aslam’s lawyer Sagir Hossain Leon during the hearing on September 7 said in the High Court that prime minister Sheikh Hasina had inaugurated Arisha Economic Zone on 55.8 acres of acquired land on April 4, 2019.
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