The High Court on Monday directed Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) to protect 952 ponds under its jurisdiction.
A bench of Justice Zubayer Rahman Chowdhury and Justice Kazi Ebadat Hossain made the direction during hearing on a writ petition filed by environment human rights organization Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB).
The court also asked to ensure no more ponds get occupied or filled in the city. RCC mayors, Rajshahi Directorate of Environment and Deputy Commissioner have been asked to implement the order.
The court also directed to return the ponds of RCC to their previous state and said the trial in this regard will continue, said HRPB president Manzil Morshed.
Manzil Morshed said the writ petition was filed in 2014 to stop the filling up of ponds in the RCC area.
The High Court then issued a rule questioning why a direction to stop filling and protecting the ponds in the RCC area will not be issued and asked Rajshahi DC to inform the numbers of ponds.
After that, Rajshahi DC submitted a report to HC informing there are a total of 952 ponds in RCC.
On February 23, this year, a supplementary appeal with the writ was submitted adding a report published in a national daily titled, `'Conserved pond filled up to sell as plots'", said the HRPB president.