The High Court on Wednesday banned all commercial establishments _ hotels, restaurants and shops _ from Hatirjheel-Begunbari area and ordered their eviction in 60 days.
The decision came in a 10-point directive issued by the virtual bench of Justice Md Ashraful Kamal and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil in response to a petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.
From a slum a few years ago, Hatirjheel-Begunbari has transformed into the capital city’s lakefront recreation centre drawing huge visitors every day.
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“The area is now regarded as our lungs and it is very essential to protect it,” the bench said in their directives.
The judges declared the project area as public trust property and called for forming a separate authority for its conservation, development and management under the supervision of the prime minister.
The court appointed the Engineering Department of BUET and 24th Brigade of Army as joint consultants of the project.
The other directives are: building of a underground washroom, supply of pure drinking water, separate lanes for walkers, bi-cycling and disabled persons and developing a fish sanctuary.
Advocate Munzill Murshid stood for the petitioner while Advocate Imam Hasan stodd for Rajuk and deputy attorney general Wayes Ali Harun represented the state.
Murshid said the HC suggested naming the project after the legendary Bengali scientist Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose.
The petition complained that commercial establishments, shops and restaurants, sprung in the area violating the project’s original layout.
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This has undermined the beauty of the area and created obstacles for free roaming of the nature-loving visitors, he said.