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Mobile courts to check river re-grabbing

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 Staff Reporter Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan on Wednesday said mobile courts will be launched across the country to prevent reoccupation of rivers already freed through eviction drives. The minister made the disclosure at the 27th meeting of the taskforce committee formed to prevent encroachment and pollution of rivers and maintaining their navigability. Replying to a question, he said drives by mobile courts will be conducted alongside the ongoing eviction drives. “Those who will try to reoccupy the river lands freed earlier through eviction drives will be fined and punished by the mobile courts. Deputy Commissioners will conduct the mobile court drive,” he said. Besides, the meeting decided to allocate land for Rab-10 and navy police from the original channel of Buriganga in Kamrangirchar. Of the total land, seven acres will be provided to the Rab-10 while three acres to Navy police, said the minister. The deputy commissioner concerned and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) will be assigned to look after the allocation process, he said. Earlier in May, the government had canceled the land allotment to the Rapid Action Battalion in the original channel of the Buriganga. Meanwhile, leaders of Paribesh Bachao Andolon (Paba) and Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) at the meeting called for not allocating the land of Buriganga original channel for Rab and navy police. The meeting also decided to take necessary steps for keeping the Ichhamati River in Pabna town free from pollution, he added. The Shipping Minister said detailed discussions were held at the meeting on the relocation of tanneries from Hazaribagh to Savar. A meeting will be held with the tannery owners in addition to launching a public awareness programme to relocate the tanneries within the stipulated time, he said. Land Minister Shamsur Rahman Sharif, Food Minister Quamrul Islam, MPs and DCs of the district concerned, authorities concerned of BIWTC and members of the taskforce committee were, among others, present at the meeting.