The taskforce the government recently created to protect the natural canals of Chittagong city will take a range of actions including eviction drives against illegal occupiers.
Mayor of Chittagong City Corporation AJM Nasir Uddin was made the convener and CCC chief executive officer the member secretary of the taskforce.
The body will free the canals from illegal occupiers, dredge canals, remove garbage from the channels to maintain their flow, and develop their banks.
If anyone is illegally occupying any of the water bodies, the taskforce will take legal action and continue monitoring activities so that the occupiers cannot return.
Led by the mayor, the team comprises representatives from the offices of divisional commissioner, deputy commissioner, Chittagong Development Authority (CDA), Water Development Board, Chittagong Metropolitan Police, Fire Service and Civil Defence, Department of Environment, and CCC ward councillors.
Addressing a press conference at his residence yesterday, Mayor Nasir said the taskforce would organise at least one meeting every month and send the meeting decisions to the Ministry of Water Resources and Local Government Division.
The mayor said if the chief of any organisation did not attend the meeting or dillydallied in implementing the decisions of the meeting, there were instructions to inform this to the administrative authority/ministry of the respective organisation.
The chiefs of the government offices under the jurisdiction of CCC will attend the meeting on invitation of CCC and implement the decisions to be taken at the meeting, he said, citing the government gazette notification.
Nasir said different government agencies initiated their development works on CCC infrastructures like roads, drains, and culverts without informing CCC, causing a lack of coordination and resulting in public sufferings.
It is necessary to inform the development works of any organisation to CCC and take its clearance before starting the project to prevent public sufferings and waterlogging in the city, the mayor said.
Replying to journalists, Nasir said it was not possible to set any timeframe to evict illegal occupiers from all 57 canals of the city. “We will initially start with Chaktai and Mahesh Khals, two most vital canals of the city."