The Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Monday demolished several illegal structures on a canal at Ibrahimpur area and from Pakarmatha road at Shewrapara at Mirpur in the capital.
The eviction drive was conducted in the presence of DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam and Dhaka Deputy Commissioner. The DNCC started its drive at 11am from the canal's Ibrahimpur Bazar section, using a bulldozer to demolish structures, including a three-storied building, built encroaching a portion of the canal.
The mayor inspected several points of the canal and ordered the demolition of all installations built on the 60-foot canal. After inspecting the banks of the canal, the mayor asked them to break down the walls of a house occupying a portion of Pakarmatha road at Shewrapara. Several structures built on the road were later demolished.
Meanwhile, some local homeowners complained to The Business Standard that the DNCC had conducted the eviction drive without any prior notice.
Mayor Atiqul told TBS, "We are conducting the drive following the map of the city corporation, evicting illegal structures that are encroaching on the canals and roads. If a structure is not on the map, we will demolish it, regardless of its size, even if it is a 10-storied building. No power can resist us."
In response to a question about compensation for the building owners, the mayor said, "We are not demolishing buildings on personal land. The buildings we are demolishing are illegal as per the map of the city corporation. So, there is no question of compensation; rather, action should be taken against them for encroaching on public property."
"Whatever the map indicates as the width of the road, 10, 20 or 30-feet, that will be recovered. In the case of 60-foot canals that have narrowed down to 10-15 feet in some places, these will also be recovered. Our drive will continue. Drives will also be conducted at other encroached canals," he added.
He promised that cycle-lanes and walkways will be constructed, and trees will be planted on recovered land after the sides of the canal are recovered.
Meanwhile, starting from Saturday, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) has been conducting out a massive waste removal drive from five drainage pits under Panthapatha box culvert at Karwan Bazar area in the city. It continued on Monday as well. Around 94 tonnes of sludge was removed on Sunday.
DSCC is also removing waste accumulated at Shyampur and Kalunagar canals under the city corporation, which is scheduled to start a removal drive from the Segun Bagicha area from Monday onwards.
On 31 December, in addition to oversight of the city canals, Dhaka WASA officially transferred the responsibility to resolve the capital's waterlogging issues to the two city corporations.
WASA had earlier maintained and operated 26 canals (about 80km), about 365km large drains and four pump stations in Dhaka. The two city corporations were taking care of about 2,211km drains. All these canals and drains are now under the jurisdiction of the two city corporations.