Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal says, none would dare to reoccupy the land along the rivers once it has been made free from encroachment.
“If anyone attempts to do so (illegally re-occupy), that will be a grave mistake. This government is different than the previous ones, as we do what we say,” he said, while addressing a programme on Saturday in Dhaka on the occasion of inauguration of a walkway project along the river bank of Buriganga.
The government is in the process of building the walkway on the reclaimed 52-kilometre river bank of Buriganga. Home Minister Kamal and State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury jointly inaugurated the project, being implemented by Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) in Dhaka’s Kamrangirchar area.
The home minister reiterated the government’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on river encroachment and pollution, adding that all the rivers across the country would gradually be freed from encroachment.
Bangladesh’s High Court has granted the country's rivers the rights and status of ‘living entities’ in a bid to save them from encroachment.
The court recently published a landmark verdict on a 2016 petition, filed by a Dhaka-based rights group, saying that all of the country's hundreds of rivers would now be treated as ‘living entities’.
“Buriganga will be a ‘centre of recreation and joy’. After completion of the project in 2020, while visiting the river bank people would feel in the same way as they would feel visiting Thames,” said Kamal.
The project, stretching about 52-kilometer, will consist of three eco-parks; 19 RCC jetty; 409 benches; and nearly 11,000 pillars, designating the river boundary. The cost of it has been estimated at Tk 844.55 crore.