Bangladesh Adventures

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

BD Government Cracks Down on Illegal Structures

This is from a friend of mine, Nripen Baidya from Bangaldesh Baptist Fellowship. It is about how the new government crack down on illegal structures on Government land is affecting the poor. Please cry out to our LORD through prayer for the displaced poor people of Bangladesh. Thank you

Now, we want to share you one of our difficulties. I believe that you all aware about the present Caretaker Government of the Bangladesh took the responsibility in a critical moment with some specific agenda and now they are trying their best and taking necessary initiatives to hold a free, fair and creditable election. They are trying to clean up corruption, illegal arms, illegal business, seizing rotten and expired food items and illegal fertilizers, medicine, arresting terrorist, corrupt political leaders and businessmen as well godfather of the terrorist and demolishing the illegal and unauthorized slums and buildings and separation of Judiciary division. The present government movement against illegal and unauthorized establishment is being highly appreciated by all quarters. The Government also evacuating the government land which is illegally using by the muscleman, political and other people. Some of them sold land to the people who are not aware that these lands are government land so, now they are becoming victims.

In Bangladesh as many as 5.4 million people live in the slums spread over six metropolitan cities and there are 9048 slums. In the capital city 37% of the population lives in slums (Report NIPORT and University of North Carolina). These slums did not come up in a day and rise and growth took place over the years and by the patronage and protection by the political muscleman alongside willful negligence of the last government. They did this for their personal benefit. A portion of the income from this land also went to pocket of the government staff. Most of the poor and low earners live in these slums. Some of the slums also become the center of criminal acts, drugs addiction, drugs trafficking, and small firearms with the support of the local muscleman. However, though they are living in unhygienic condition but keeping our cities clean. In any event we strongly feel that a proper and lasting program needs to take for their rehabilitation by the government as well as NGOs should come forward in this regard.

In Dhaka City we have two churches among the Telegu community with over 100 families who are living in Gupibag, Wari, Outfall, Mohammadpur, Mirpur and Agargoan. These people came in Bangladesh during British Rule to clean the city and also work for the railway. The government settled in these areas. Till those who are in government service they will not face any difficulties but those do not have government job but living in these slums illegally have to evacuate their residence very soon. The government has already served a noticed to these illegal inhabitances to evacuate the house otherwise they will demolish their houses with their household goods. But in Dhaka city these people do not have alternative source to take temporary shelter with their children and household goods. Moreover, they have no ability to get rent a room in Dhaka city to live. So, now they are in danger.

Finding no alternative way they came to BBCF church leaders for seeking help for rehabilitating them in a safety place. But BBCF leaders make them understand that it would not be possible to rehabilitate them in Dhaka city with land. They proposed them to rehabilitate them at Savar (about 30 KM north of Dhaka City). It would be possible for BBCF to rehabilitate these 100 families in Savar if we get support from our generous supporters.

Secondly, about 50 families of our Gosherchar Baptist Church at Gopalgonj also facing the evacuation difficulties. Infact these 50 families in Gosherchar they purchased land from the landlord without checking the legal side of these land as they were not aware about this issue. Historically the land they purchased is now a char (river raised land or river land). All the rivers land in Bangladesh belongs to government as Khas. Eventually the present government has identified that these are khas land the people have to evacuate their houses within two days. These 50 families already evacuated the houses and took shelter at church premises in tent (made by polythene) in the mean time northwester has started with rain and the polythene has gone through by air. So they have no shelter at all on their head. So, they are in danger with their children and household goods. Until settled this condition these people cannot go for work and being poor and low earner they do not have food. Being the BBCF church members it is our responsibility to looking after these people. BBCF have started providing food to these families at its church premises but the fund BBCF it is hardly enough for five days to feed these people. It has become a moral obligation to rehabilitate these people in a secured land.

Third, about 25 families of Sarisabari Church at Jamalpur were living at Railway land. They got lease permission from the government but this was not officially legal. The lease was false. Some political influential people give them lease taking money from these poor people. Now, the present government identified that this lease is false so they demolished their residences with their belongs. Now they are living in Church house and some are living putting polythene over their head.



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