Gazaria upazila administration in Munshiganj has launched an investigation into the allegations against a company — Three Angle Marine Ltd — which has been occupying rivers, canals and land and was listed as an “illegal occupant” by the National River Conservation Commission (NRCC).
The upazila administration began the investigation as per the instructions of the district administration in the wake of recent media reports.
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The upazila nirbahi officer and assistant commissioner (land) of the upazila went to the company’s ship-building yard on Monday and carried out the investigation, Ziaul Islam Chowdhury, Gazaria UNO confirmed.
He said some people had complained that their land was not purchased and had been illegally occupied. This was found to be true as the company was not able to show required papers.
“The Cadastral Survey [survey relating to land boundaries and subdivisions] record showed there were canals, which have been filled up. However, in the RS record of 1977-78, there was no canal and the existence of a drain was listed.
“We will need the assistance of the NRCC to see whether the Meghnahas been occupied.”
Mir Md Ferdaush, ward Awami League president, was present at the yard and said the company could not give any satisfactory answer after showing that only 0.8 acres of the land was mentioned in their documents.
Md Ataur Rahman, of the upazila, said the upazila administration had listed about 150 farmers and collected the documents regarding the lands during the investigation. “They [officials of the administration] stayed there for 40-50 minutes. So, they did not have the scope to check all the documents submitted. The local administration was requested to verify the documents of the two parties and settle the possession of the land.”
Lokman Hossain, one of the directors of Three Angle Marine, said they purchased a maximum of 10 acres, of about 80 acres, from five people of the same family. Five other members of the family are now claiming ownership of the land. “We have applied to the Ministry of Land and the deputy commissioner regarding the government khas land.”
He claimed that the original owners did not come during the investigation yesterday.
Syeda Yasmin Sultana, assistant commissioner (land), who went to the spot to inquire about the area of land occupied by Three Angle Marine Ltd and whether the farmers have any land, did not make any comments.
Asked how long the investigation would last and when the report would be submitted, Deputy Commissioner Kazi Nahid Rasul said as the investigation was ongoing, it would not be right to comment on the matter right now.