BIWTA razes part of MP Aslam’s power plant
The power plant occupied a total of five acres of river land illegally
The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) is conducting regular drives on the banks of the Buriganga River to free the illegally occupied areas.
On Wednesday, the BIWTA conducted an eviction drive in a part of "Maisha Power Plant" on the west bank of the Buriganga River in Keraniganj which is owned by lawmaker Aslamul Haque.
He is the parliament member from Dhaka-14 constituency.
Officials conducting the drive said the power plant occupied a total of five acres of river land illegally.
Following the incident, Aslam rushed to the spot near Basila bridge and interrupted the BIWTA team.
But the BIWTA authority did not entertain his request to halt the drive.
At that time, around 30-40 people accompanied the lawmaker.
Aslam told the BIWTA officials to show the joint survey map before resuming the eviction.
He told reporters the BIWTA gave him a no-objection certificate during the construction of the power plant.
The parliamentarian also claimed that the BIWTA was carrying out eviction operations in his power plant area without prior notice.
Denying the allegations, BIWTA Joint Director AKM Arif Uddin said: "The lawmaker's allegation is not true. We have been evicting the areas which were not mentioned in the no-objection certificate. These areas were illegally occupied."
"This move will convey a message to those who are still keeping riverbanks under their possession. No one can grab river lands no matter if he is an influential figure or not," said Arif.
"The eviction drive will continue in line with the High Court order until the entire occupied land of rivers is recovered," he added.
Executive Magistrate Habibur Rahman said, "It has become a common phenomenon that there will be obstacles and interruptions during the drives."
"But we never stopped and took action against those who interrupted," he added.
According to a recent verdict of the Supreme Court, river grabbers cannot be a public representative.
Asked whether he would resign as a lawmaker if river grabbing allegations against him are proved, Aslam said, "I will see it when it is proved. So, I will not make any comment now."
This week's eviction drive in Basila area has ended and will resume from Tuesday next.