Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association (BELA) and Cox’s Bazar based environment organisation Youth Environment Society (YES) served a legal notice upon six government bodies including Land Ministry, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Roads and Highways (RHD) over filling up of Kohelia River in Cox’s Bazar.
The notice was served today after The Daily Star ran a report on December 25 portraying the sorry state of the once vibrant river in Moheskhali upazila thanks to an under-construction road.
Secretaries of three ministries including Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Land Ministry, chairman of National River Conservation Commission, chief engineer of RHD, director general of DoE, deputy commissioner of Cox’s Bazar and police super of same district were asked to stop the ongoing encroachment of the river.
They were asked to take steps to restore the waterbody to its previous condition and inform the measures to BELA and YES within seven days, the notice read.
Otherwise, legal action would be taken for their failure in saving the river and letting the ecological damage to the waterbody, the notice warned.
READ MORE: The killing of Kohelia
In the meantime, department of environment issued a notice to RHD for hiding info of river encroachment in EIA (environmental impact assessment) and had it approved from the regulatory body.
RHD is encroaching around two kilometers of the river to make a road to facilitate vehicular movement to an under construction power plant.