Take steps to stop Talma River encroachment within 72hr: HC

The High Court (HC) on Thursday directed the local authorities to take measures to stop the encroachment of Talma River in Panchagarh within 72 hours.

The court also ordered the submission of the progress report after implementing the order within 15 days and sought a list of encroachers within six months.

The bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Mohi Uddin Shamim passed the order after hearing a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB).

Advocate Manzil Murshid stood for the petitioner while Deputy Attorney General Nowroj Md Rassel represented the state.

Besides, the HC also issued a rule seeking an explanation on why the failure of authorities to save the Talma River should not be declared illegal and why the order regarding saving the river should not be passed.

Secretary of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry, Director General of Environment Department, Chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, Panchagarh Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police, Upazila Nirbahi Officer and Officer-in-Charge of Sadar Police Station were asked to respond to the rule within four weeks.

On November 3, a newspaper report was published over the encroachment of Talma River which said a company has been filling the river while an entertainment park was also built on the occupied land of the river that is on the verge of death.

According to the National River Conservation Commission, Bangladesh-Saudi Bangla Environment and Icho Friend Limited occupied 7.5 acres and the park grabbed 8.5 acres of river land.