The government lost TK100 crore in revenue during the last decade due to the illegal port
The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) on Monday evicted an illegal river port on the bank of Hurasagor River in Pabna's Brishalikha area.
During the drive, different establishments of the port were demolished.
A mobile court, led by Deputy Secretary of Shipping Ministry Habibur Rahman, seized nine ships anchored at the port and detained nine people.
Berra Municipality Mayor Alhaz Abdul Baten illegally established the port named "Raz Ghat" a decade ago.
In the last 10 years, the state-owned Baghabari river port, which is located 10 kilometres away, has been deprived of Tk100 crore in revenue as loading and unloading of goods from vessels were managed using the illegal port.
The mobile court also fined them Tk30,000 each. In default, each of them has to serve three months in jail.
A big number of police and fire service and BIWTA officials were present at the spot during the drive.
Rafiqul Islam, additional director at the BIWTA, said Abdul Baten, also the upazila Awami League president, set up the port without any approval from the BIWTA, the only legal authority of operating any river port in the country.
Rafiqul Islam said legal notices were served several times to shut the port, but to no avail. Finally, the port was evicted using bulldozer during the drive continued several hours.
A case will be filed in this connection, he added.
Local businessman Abdul Halim said the port fetches Tk10 lakh daily through loading and unloading activities.
The livelihood of several thousand people depends on the port. They will be workless due to the sudden closure of the port, he added.
A cargo vessel has to pay Tk34.50 for the unloading of every tonne of goods.
The government lost Tk100 crore in revenue during the last decade due to the illegal port, said BIWTA Chairman Commodore Mahbubul Alam after inspecting the eviction drive.
The use of the port will not be allowed anymore, he added.
However, our district corresponded could not contact Abdul Baten despite several attempts over the phone.