HC orders government to demolish 14 brick kilns in Hori and Bhadra rivers
The High Court today ordered the government to demolish and evict 14 illegal brick kilns built within the boundaries of the Bhadra and Hori rivers in Khulna and submit a compliance report within 60 days.
The HC passed the order after going through the list of names of brick kilns and their owners submitted by the district deputy commissioner’s office. The list was submitted in accordance with the previous order of the CH.
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Judicial Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Judge Md Kamrul Hossain Mollah issued the order during the hearing of a written petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) on February 22 this year, requesting the necessary guidance to the government to take measures to ensure the free flow of water from the two rivers.
The bench also set a new hearing and order on the petition for February 22 next year.
During today’s hearing, the petitioner’s lawyer, Manzill Murshid, pleaded with the HC that some influential residents, including people in public office, illegally operate brick kilns in the territory of two important rivers and that these must be expelled.
Following a lawsuit, the HC magistracy on February 25 ordered the authorities to maintain the status quo on land grabbing, earth filling and the operation of brick kilns on river lands. Bhadra and Hori and also issued a rule asking relevant authorities to explain why their inaction to end such activities should not be declared illegal.
The petitioner said that Khulna-5 (Dumuria-Phultola) lawmaker Narayan Chandra Chanda, also former Minister of Fisheries and Livestock, the president of Dumuria upazila Ajaz Ahmed, the president of the local union of Parishad Human Kabir Bulu , and many more were said to have been implicated in the acts of land grabbing and the operation of brick kilns on river lands, which obstructed the flow of rivers.
The rights organization submitted the petition following a report published by the Daily Star on February 12 under the headline “Brick kilns in Dumuria of Khulna: United, they kill rivers”.