HC issues status quo on Meghna, Menikhali rivers

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 18:29, Sep 16, 2018 | Updated : 18:31, Sep 16, 2018

A general view of the Bangladesh Supreme Court. BANGLA TRIBUNE/Sazzad HossainThe High Court has ordered to stop construction works on Meghna and Menikhali rivers in Narayanganj’s Sonargaon Upazila.
The bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Ahmed Sohel issued a status quo order on Sunday after hearing two petitions on the matter.
It also issued a rule asking why the local administration’s inactivity should not be declared illegal and why all the filling and establishments should not be removed.
It also asked why the rivers should not be conserved under the CS-RS record.
Twelve government officials, including secretaries to the environment and water resources ministries, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority chairman, Narayanganj’s deputy commissioner and superintendent of police, Sonargaon’s Upazila administration chief (UNO), police station OC and land officer, have been ordered to respond within four weeks.
Rights body, the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) filed the petitions with on Sept 9 after media reports on the issue.
It said that the Environmental Preservation Act 1995 and the Water Body Preservation Act 2000 stipulate it’s completely illegal to occupy or fill any rivers.
But the laws were ignored in constructing the ‘Aman Economic Zone’ on the Meghna River in Narayanganj and the filling and illegal construction on the Menikhali River by influential locals.
HRBP President Manzill Murshid, who represented the petitioner in court, told the media the court also ordered the Narayanganj district administration to form a committee on the matter.
The panel will have to survey the area and file a report by 30 days with details of the occupiers, he said.