The High Court on Monday asked the authorities concerned to take immediate action to stop land filling, encroachment, construction of dams, and other infrastructures on the Kaptai Lake in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

After hearing a writ petition filed by the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), the HC bench, comprising Justice Md Ashfaqul Islam and Justice Md Shohrowardi, passed the order.

Rangamati deputy commissioner and superintendent of police, Rangamati sadar upazila nirbahi officer and sadar municipal mayor, Bangladesh fisheries development corporation manager, Rangamati sadar assistant commissioner (land), and Kotwali thana officer-in-charge (OC), were asked to submit a report within two weeks after implementing the order.

At the same time, the court ordered the officials concerned to survey the Kaptai Lake in the hill tracts and submit the list of illegal occupants within 30 days.

The court also issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain why their inaction to demolish all infrastructures, dams, eviction of all the encroachers, and removal of permanent and temporary structures on the Kaptai Lake should not be declared illegal.
Environment secretary, local government secretary, director general and director (enforcement) of environment department, chairman of Bangladesh fisheries development corporation, deputy commissioner and superintendent of police of Rangamati and five others were made respondents to the rule within four weeks.

Advocate Manzil Morshed moved for the petitioner in the court while Deputy Attorney General Kazi Mainul Hasan appeared for the state.

After the order, lawyer Manzil Morshed told the media that Kaptai Lake is an artificial reservoir. It has specific boundaries. But influential people have slowly taken over the border, prompting the writ. 

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