The High Court on Tuesday released a 55 page verdict with four directives and nine recommendations, including the eviction of all commercial establishments from the Hatirjheel-Begunbari project within 60 days.
In the full text verdict, the HC declared the Hatirjheel-Begunbari project in the capital a 'public trust property' and all commercial establishments there, including hotels, restaurants, and shops, in the project area, illegal.
The court has cancelled the allotment of all hotels, restaurants, and other commercial establishments in the Hatirjheel-Begunbari project area and has asked the authorities to remove all kinds of commercial establishments from the project area within 60 days of receiving a copy of the verdict.
The court also directed that the water taxi service currently in operation be stopped.
The court asked the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) and others concerned to implement the order.
The High Court bench of Justice Md Ashraful Kamal and Justice Rajik Al Jalil declared the operative part of the verdict disposing a rule in this regard on 30 June in 2021. The same court released the full-text verdict on Tuesday.
In the full-text verdict, the High Court suggested forming a 'Hatirjheel Lake Preserve, Development and Management Authority' under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in order to preserve, develop, and operate the Hatirjheel-Begunbari project.
It also suggested appointing BUET's engineering department and the 24th Engineering Construction Brigade of the Bangladesh Army as permanent consultants for the project.
It asked that international standard underground public toilets and potable water be arranged in the project area for people to use.
Lawyer Manzill Murshid appeared in court on behalf of the writ petitioner, while deputy attorney general Wayes Al Haruni represented the state, and advocate Md Imam Hasan appeared for Rajuk.
Rajuk was inactive even though illegal establishments outside the original plan of Hatirjheel were springing up and flourishing.
Under these circumstances, Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), a rights organisation, filed a writ petition with the High Court as public interest litigation annexing a news report published on 1 August in 2018.
The housing and public works secretary, chief executive officer of Dhaka South City Corporation, the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) chairman, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) commissioner, OC of Hatirjheel Police Station, and the project director of Hatirjheel-Begunbari project were made respondents to the writ.