LGRD Minister Md Tazul Islam expressed his concern over the increasing industrial establishments on both sides of Karnaphuli River, the lifeline of port city Chattogram.
The Chattogram Port Authority can lease their own lands to others but the government has not allowed anyone to lease the river banks, he said.
The minister said this at a views-exchange meeting on Saturday, organised to discuss some of the city's prevailing problems including waterlogging, navigation of Karnaphuli and its pollution.
In the meeting, the LGRD minister asked the authorities concerned to explain why the Karnaphuli River is not excavated in every 10 years.
Expressing discontent, he said, "A 20-feet Polyethylene layer has been deposited in the riverbed, extremely shrinking its navigation. If smooth navigation is not ensured, the good-laden ships cannot reach the Chattogram Port."
"The government had taken a mega project in 2017 to remove waterlogging from the port city. It was also scheduled, as per project details, to form a committee headed by the LGRD minister to monitor the progress of the project," Tazul Islam said.
"But I came to know the matter of the committee later. That is why I have come here to talk to all stakeholders of the project," he continued.
Asked why the city is still suffering from heavy waterlogging even after taking the mega project four years back, the minister said, "Heavy downpour is also a reason behind this."
Presided over by Divisional Commissioner Md Kamrul Hasan, the event was also attended by Chattogram City Corporation Mayor Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, LGRD Senior Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed, Chairman of Chattogram Port Authority Rear Admiral M Shahjahan and Zila Parishad Chairman MA Salam.