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Ashiyan filling canal in city
Ashiyan Group, a real-estate company, has been grabbing government and public land, including Boalia canal near Khilkhet-Ishapur in the capital, one after another illegally.
It has started grabbing the canal by installing signboards without the government’s approval.
As such, residents of the area are exposed to vulnerability of water logging, crop damage and obstacle to waterways and sewerage system.
Local people alleged that the group has been filling up the canal for one and a half months but the government officials concerned did not take any action.
After a visit to the spot, this correspondent found the horrible scene of grabbing of government property of the canal by Ashiyan Group.
Starting from Khilkhet beel, the canal ends in the Balu river crossing a length of 8-10km. There is a bridge over the canal in Barua area nearby Khilkhet-Ishapur road. Ashiyan Medical College Hospital is being constructed on the brink of the canal adjacent to the bridge. Simultaneously, Ashiyan Group’s canal filling offence is also going on.
It is alleged that 40 out of 120 feet of the canal has already been filled up and the organisation is trying to expedite the filling of rest of the area. It has already occupied more than two bighas of land by now.
Ashiyan Group conducts the construction work of the medical college during daytime and fills up the canal at night. Several hundred cadres of the company guard the area to tackle any protest by local people.
Local people once tried to resist the land filling, but now they are afraid of raising voice for life risk.
Monir Molla, 38, a farmer of Barua village, said, “I used to earn livelihood by cultivation. The canal once used to be a source of local fish, but sand has taken place of fishes now. And water? A distant dream!”
Mansur Sikder of the same village said the inhabitants of Bawa, Betuli, Sonarkhola, Askona, Barua and Jabon villages used to live on the canal but their income has fallen as it has been filled.
Local people think Ashiyan Group will very soon block the water flow of the canal causing water logging and flood in the area. The canal is the only drain for rainwater.
Keramat Ali Dewan, president of Khilkhet Awami League, said earlier he protested the canal-filling activity of Ashiyan Group but now he has surrendered to its muscle power.
“I tried to resist canal filling but in vain as the administration is not proactive and cooperative in this regard,” he added.
He also said local people took up the matter to the home minister several times but their effort did not evoke any action.
When contacted, Munir Chowdhury, director (enforcement) of the Directorate of Environment, expressed his ignorance about the matter.
[ First Page ] 2012-05-22