Remove all illegal structures

January 26, 2012

Gulshan Lake
Remove all illegal structures
HC directs govt
The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the government to demarcate the city’s Gulshan Lake and remove the illegal structures from it in the next two months.
The lake has to be demarcated as per Revisional Survey (RS) records, Deputy Attorney General ABM Altaf Hossain told The Daily Star.
If any portion of the Korail slum falls within the lake’s territory it would be removed as per the HC order, he added.
During the hearing on a rule, the court asked the government to submit a compliance report by March 30.
The HC bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik and Justice Jahangir Hossain Selim also asked the Secretary to the Ministry of Environment to declare Gulshan Lake as an “environmentally critical area” and to submit a compliance report to it by February 28.
Secretaries to the ministries of land, environment, housing and public works and LGRD, deputy commissioner of Dhaka, managing directors of Dhaka Wasa and Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL) will jointly execute the court’s directives in association with Gulshan Society, an environmentalist organisation, the court’s order said.
The court fixed April 7 for further order on this issue.
On Tuesday, the bench directed the Rajuk authorities to free the lake from grabbing in seven days, following which Chairman of Rajuk Nurul Huda and Managing Director of BTCL Abu Sayed Khan appeared before the court.
During yesterday’s hearing, Huda said the land of Gulshan Lake is under the jurisdiction of BTCL, while Sayed said his office controls only 80 acres of the land.
Earlier on January 17, following a report published in the daily Prothom Alo, the court directed Rajuk’s chief and its authorised officer for Gulshan zone to appear before it to explain why they have not protected the land around the lake.
The court then issued a rule asking them to state the steps they have taken to prevent further grabbing of the lake and why they should not be directed to protect the lake.
According to the Bengali daily, a dam of over five bighas was created across Gulshan Lake, dividing it in the middle. Several tin-shed houses have also been erected along the dam, by claiming land ownership.

-With The Daily Star input

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