Developers now own most of wetlands

Dhaka-mawa Highway
Developers now own most of wetlands
Poor farmers forced to sell lands as law not enforced
Developers now own most of wetlandsLand developers are illegally filling up vast areas of wetland and converting huge areas of seasonal cropland to launch housing projects along the Dhaka-Mawa Highway.
All the laws and policies formulated over the years to protect the environment have simply become a farce as the authorities concerned are turning a blind eye to the misdeed.
During several recent visits to Shikarpur beel, Kuichhamara beel, Abdullahpur, Alampur, Rajendrapur in Sirajdikhan, Srinagar and Lauhajong in Munshiganj, it was seen that influential land developers were filling up thousands of acres of land.
The land developers have also erected hundreds of colourful billboards in the water, bearing advertisements like “green model town” or “modern town” to lure prospective buyers. Even in September this year, locals caught fish and sailed boats around those billboards posted by different housing projects like “green city”, “silver city”, “Padma city”, “modern city”, “Asian town” or “shanti nibas”.
The roadside views are the same for a stretch of a few kilometres on both sides of the highway.
The vast areas of low land remain four to five months under water where locals catch fish during monsoon and cultivate rice and vegetables in winter.
That had been in practice for generations, said Khaleque Morol of Baro Shikarpur in Srinagar while talking to this correspondent.
Khaleque was allegedly forced to sell his land to Amin Mohammad Foundation.
“I was compelled to sell my 140 decimals of land as they were threatening to fill it up. If they filled up my land with sand, I could not grow anything there. Rather they would have asked me to pay for the sand, which they have done to others,” alleged Khaleque.
“They just make people hostage and force them to sell their land,” said Khaleque, who now has no land except his homestead and has become jobless.
Two men were seen fishing on a boat fastened to a big signboard of Amin Mohammad Foundation near Bara Shikarpur village. The billboard reads, “Modern city with all facilities, only five kilometres away from Babu Bazar bridge…”
The older of the men said, “Now rivers, wetland, cropland — everything is turning into housing projects. Here, the depth would not be less than five to six feet. Our beel too is turning into a housing scheme.”
Dr Ishrat Islam of Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Buet has recently showed that nearly 10,000 acres of wetland was filled up in Dhaka city and its fringes every year between 1999 and 2010. Before that, around 13,000 acres of wetland was filled up each year between 1989 and 1999.
The Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act, 1995 (Amended 2010) and other related laws prohibit converting any land into housing estates without prior permission. But in most cases the land was filled up without permission.
Not only the outskirts of Dhaka but all the last remaining cropland, wetland, forestland, ponds, rivers in any direction about 100 kilometres off the capital centre have been changing into housing schemes fast.
The laws have turned into a mockery as the government agencies themselves neither comply with nor enforce those.
The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) itself fills up land for housing projects or approves private housing projects in the areas, which are supposed to be preserved as flood flow zone.
The present trend of losing agricultural land and other open spaces was very alarming, said Shamshul Huda, coordinator of Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD). “The government should enforce the laws very strictly to stop this practice,” he said.
The ALRD has conducted a study which shows every year 72,077 acres of agro-land is being converted to non-agricultural land with 90 percent of it being used for housing.

Courtesy of The Daily Star

Related News

National Mourning Day today

The nation is set to observe National Mourning Day today. The government and numerous political, socio-economic and cultural organisations have chalked out programmes to mark the 47th martyrdom anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members. On this day in 1975, Bangabandhu was brutally assassinated by a group of ... Read more

Tea garden workers begin strike for wage hike

Zaman Monir Bangladesh Cha Shramik Union, an organisation of tea garden workers, went on a countrywide strike from Saturday for an indefinite period demanding a hike in their daily wages. Leaders and activists of the organisation’s Sylhet and Chattogram divisional units expressed their solidarity on Friday night with the organisation’s Moulvibazar unit that the daily ... Read more

Over 14,000 children die of drowning in Bangladesh annually: WHO, UNICEF

News Desk : dhakamirror.com In Bangladesh, more than 14,000 children drown each year, according to a joint media release from the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Over 14,000 children in Bangladesh die from drowning each year, making it the second largest cause of mortality for children under the age of five in the country. The ... Read more

HC bans rooftop train journey

Action against rail officials if passengers travel on train roof News Desk : dhakamirror.com The Bangladesh Railway authorities were criticized by the High Court on Thursday (July 21, 2022) for poor administration of the railway services, including ticket scalping, and it was noted that no passenger is allowed to ride on the train roof. “If ... Read more

Nation celebrating Eid-ul-Azha

Eid-ul-Azha, one of the biggest religious festivals of the Muslims, is being celebrated across Bangladesh on Sunday with due solemnity, a sense of sacrifice and religious fervour amid the Covid outbreak for the second consecutive year.The celebrations began with Eid congregations all over the country followed by the sacrifice of cattle head in the name ... Read more

No motorcycle registration without driver’s license

News Desk : dhakamirror.com On Tuesday, the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority said that starting on September 15, no registration number will be assigned to any motorcycle if the driver lacked a valid driving license.The order, issued by the authority, was given to inform people about it, said the BRTA director (engineering) Sitangshu Shekhar Biwas.Currently, the ... Read more

PM Hasina inaugurates Padma Bridge

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Padma Multipurpose Bridge on Saturday. The prime minister unveiled the inauguration plaque of the much-anticipated 6.15 kilometre Padma Bridge for vehicular movement at 11:58am at Mawa end. Speaking at the auspicious moment of inaugurating the bridge, an emotion-choked prime minister remembered Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the family members ... Read more

Physical work of Bangladesh’s First underground metro rail to begin in Sept

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Physical work on Bangladesh’s first underground metro rail, formerly known as Mass Rapid Transit Line-1, or MRT-1, will start within September this year. MAN Siddique, managing director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Ltd, revealed the information at a press conference at Bangabandhu International Convention Centre in Dhaka, on Wednesday. He said ... Read more

SSC, equivalent exams postponed due to worsening flood situation

The government on Friday postponed this year’s Secondary School Certificate and equivalent examinations, scheduled to begin on June 19, due to the worsening flood situation. A press release, issued by the education ministry on the day, said that due to worsening flood situation SSC general, SSC vocational and Dakhil examinations under all boards are being ... Read more

Army deployed to manage heavy flooding in Sylhet: ISPR

Members of Bangladesh Army have been deployed to manage the heavy flooding and its aftermath in Sylhet district. The deployment comes following a request from the civil administration, according to the ISPR. Talking to our Sylhet correspondent, Mujibur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Sylhet, said members of Bangladesh Army will rescue marooned people using boats. The ... Read more

Spectacular arrangements surrounding the opening of Padma Bridge

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Last minute preparations are underway in the bridge area. The Padma Bridge is going to be opened on 25 June. The inauguration of the Padma Bridge on June 25 will be celebrated in a manner that will truly let the general public be a part of the achievement – Bangladesh’s first independently ... Read more

How much will it cost to cross the Padma, the government fixed

By Dhaka Mirror : dhakamirror.com The government has fixed the toll of the under-construction Padma bridge, which is at least 1.5 times higher than the average toll paid on ferries plying the Padma. The bridge division under Road Transport and Bridges Ministry on Tuesday issued a notification fixing different toll rates for different transports. As ... Read more

Eid-ul-Fitr being celebrated across Bangladesh

Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest religious festival of Muslims, is being celebrated today (May 3, 2022) across the country. This is the first Eid celebration without Covid-19 pandemic related restrictions. Eid jamaat (congregations) were held under public and private initiatives across the country, including in Dhaka. The country’s main Eid jamaat in Dhaka was held at the ... Read more

Shawwal moon not sighted, Bangladesh to celebrate Eid on May 3

By Dhaka Mirror : dhakamirror.com Holy Eid-ul-Fitr, the largest religious festival of Muslims, will be celebrated in the country Tuesday as the Shawwal moon was not sighted in Bangladesh this evening. The decision was taken at a meeting of the National Moon Sighting Committee this evening after Maghrib prayers. Mohammad Faridul Haque Khan, state minister ... Read more

Padma Bridge will open to traffic by 2022 end: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday told the parliament that work is going on in full swing to open Padma Bridge to traffic by the end of this year. The premier said this while replying to a query from Awami League MP Shahiduzzaman Sarker. Earlier on several occasions, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader ... Read more

Nation observing Independence Day

BSS, Dhaka The nation is celebrating the 52nd Independence and National Day today in a befitting manner. The government has taken elaborate programmes marking the Independence and National Day. President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave separate messages extending heartfelt greetings and warm felicitations to the countrymen living both home and abroad ... Read more

Full-scale in-person classes in schools, colleges from March 15

Education minister Dipu Moni on Saturday said that full-scale in-person classes at secondary and higher secondary level educational institutions across Bangladesh would begin from March 15. From then in-person classes would be held on all subjects at the educational institutions like the pre-pandemic stage, she said in an inauguration programme at Tikatuli area in Dhaka ... Read more

SSC exams likely to start on June 19, HSC on August 22

This year’s Secondary School Certificate and equivalent examinations are scheduled to start on June 19 and Higher Secondary Certificate and equivalent examinations are scheduled to start on August 22. In two urgent releases the Dhaka Education Board published these ‘probable’ dates in its website. The releases were published on Monday. One if the urgent releases ... Read more

Amar Ekushey being observed across Bangladesh

The Amar Ekushey and the International Mother Language Day is being observed across Bangladesh on Monday through paying rich tribute to the memory of the Language Movement martyrs and renewing the call for the proper use of Bangla in all spheres of life. Streams of barefooted people from all walks of life filed past the ... Read more

HSC, equivalent exams’ results published with 95.26pc pass rate

The results of the Higher Secondary Certificate and equivalent examinations of 2021 were published on Sunday with a pass rate of 95.26 per cent. The number of students securing GPA 5 is 1,89,169. The results were officially announced by the prime minister Sheikh Hasina virtually from the Ganabhaban while later in a press briefing the ... Read more