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HC for forming authority for management of Hatirjheel project

| Updated: May 25, 2022 12:13:16

File photo (Collected) File photo (Collected)

The High Court has suggested forming an authority titled ‘Hatirjheel Lake Preserve, Development and Management Authority’ under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister Office (PMO) in order to preserve, develop and operate the Hatirjheeel-Begunbari project.  

It also suggested appointing BUET's Engineering Department and the 24th Engineering Construction Brigade of the Bangladesh Army as the permanent consultants for the project.  

It asked to establish international standard underground public toilets and arrange potable water in the project area for the use of common people. The authorities have to arrange a separate system for the disabled and a separate lane for bicycle riders. 

The High Court bench of Justice Md Ashraful Kamal and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil on Tuesday passed these suggestions in the full text of a verdict delivered after hearing on a writ petition filed seeking the removal of structures built beyond the layout plan of the Hatirjheel-Begunbari project.  

The High Court bench delivered the short verdict on June 30 in 2021, while the full text was released on Tuesday on the website of the Supreme Court.  

In the full verdict, the High Court declared the Hatirjheel-Begunbari project in the capital as a ‘public trust property’ and all kinds of commercial establishments including hotels, restaurants and shops in the project area as illegal.  

The court has cancelled the allotment of all the hotels, restaurants and other commercial establishments in Hatirjheel-Begunbari project area in the capital city as those are illegal and the court asked the authorities to remove all kinds of commercial establishments from the project area within 60 days after receipt of the copy of the verdict.  

The court also suggested to set up a fish sanctuary in the lake of the project area and preserve, development and management cost of the project to be allocated from the revenue budget.  

Lawyer Manzill Murshid appeared in the court on behalf of the writ petitioner, while deputy attorney general Wayes Al Haruni represented the state and advocate Md Imam Hasan appeared for the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakkha (Rajuk).  

Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha was inactive even though activities of illegal establishments were going on outside the original plan of Hatirjheel. 

In this circumstance Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), a rights organization, filed a writ petition with the High Court as a public interest litigation annexing a news report published on August 1 in 2018.  

After primary hearing on the petition the High Court on September 10 in 2018 issued a ruling and directed the authorities concerned of the government to demolish and remove structures built beyond the layout plan of the Hatirjheel-Begunbari project in Dhaka within seven days.  

In the ruling the court wanted to know from the respondents to explain in four weeks as to why the failure or inaction of the respondents to protect the Hatirjheel-Begunbari Project as per its original layout plan should not be declared illegal.  

Housing and public works secretary, chief executive officer of Dhaka South City Corporation, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha chairman, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) commissioner, OC of Hatirjheel Police Station, and project director of Hatirjheel-Begunbari project were asked to comply with the rule.  

Later the High Court passed some more orders over the issue and after final hearing on the ruling the court delivered the verdict declaring the ruling absolute.  

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