At least 15 people including five secretaries have been served legal notices for contempt of court as they failed to implement a High Court order to take action against the grabbers of the Bankkhali river and stop pollution of the river.
The Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela) served the notice to the secretaries of the land, environment, water resources, fisheries and local government ministries, chairman of the national river conservation commission, Chattogram division commissioner, director-general of the environment directorate, water development board DG, Cox's Bazar deputy commissioner, Cox's Bazar's upazila nirbahi officer, Chattogram divisional director of the environment department, Cox's Bazar district office deputy director, Cox's Bazar municipality mayor and Cox's Bazar sadar upazila assistant commissioner.
Supreme Court Lawyer S Hasanul Banna said on Tuesday that the notice has been served on behalf of Bela, which asked the respondents to provide information regarding the steps taken in this connection by 10:00 am on 16 June. Otherwise, the relevant officials will face the next phase of legal action for contempt of court.
Bela filed a lawsuit in 2014 to free the Bankkhali river from illegal occupation and pollution and reconstitute it. The High Court issued an interim order against the writ to take action against the grabbers of the river by cutting the peyara (guava) orchards by the river and asked the mayor to stop polluting the river by dumping wastes by the Cox's Bazar municipality.