last week were rife with news about big time land-grabbers
devouring last chunks of water bodies in and around the capital.
While we appreciate such concern, albeit drowsy, the total
inaction by appropriate agencies (RAJUK being one of them)
should not be ignored.
is that such feasts have commenced in small ways in many other
parts of the city, the inaction continues, and we shall only
know of their collective damage ONLY when the entire river
oblique lake has been gulped. Needless to say, in this case
if you miss the boat it will unload some more earth in the
usually begins besides a lake or a pond or a river with innocent
rubbish. After a few weeks some 'becharaa' erects two three
bamboo sticks, never four in case one gets suspicious, to
hold a worn down polythene sheet. Soon there is a family living
there; soon a few more. Then a tin fence goes up all a round
the place. This is followed by visits of officious looking
people. They are the thieves. The ‘becharaa'
is in their payroll. One fine morning neighbours realise that
the water has receded by five katha or a bigha.
On another not-so-fine morning neighbours are greeted by a
suited-booted newcomer, who queries: 'You guys live here?'
you, we, are fighting homra chomra elements within
the administration which is part of the scam, the only way
to try to stop this illegal occupancy is by putting a stop
to it when the first bucket of rubbish is dumped. Strike when
the iron is hot. The important things of tomorrow are probably
going to be things that are overlooked today, so said Hungarian-born
U.S. business executive Andrew S. Grove. Even earlier, in
fact much earlier, Roman poet Horace (65 - 8 BC) said, 'Seize
the day, and put as little trust as you can in the morrow'.
And you all know the proverb, 'Never put off till tomorrow
what you can do today'. And remember William Congreve (1670
- 1729), the English playwright and poet, who warned, 'Defer
not till to-morrow to be wise, To-morrow's sun to thee may
to such meaningless and delayed hype, it has become almost
a cliché to blame every problem in the city on the
poorer section of the population--crime, theft, murder, fancy
deal (some bottled product), prostitution, environment,
water-logging, land grabbing. The charges are given further
credence because the rent-paying (?) slum dwellers are illegal
the well-to-do are not involved in any of those? Has not the
business of a premier bank suspended because of hundreds of
fictitious accounts? Those bankers do not live in the slum.
Have not millions in foreign currency found in a pair of slippers
NOT belonging to a slum dweller? Let us get one fact straight:
None of the land grabbers are slum people. They may belong
there but they can afford to live elsewhere.
in our protests and news headlines lies in the fact that we
all notice the land-snatching when it is too late, when the
grabbed land is bigger than our own, the property under threat.
It could even be that the land grabbers make it a point to
get the news published to give their newfound possession legitimacy.
They only know too well that all bold banners fizzle out after
a couple of weeks.
is not only taking place besides water bodies. No Sirree,
no! Land is being eaten in forests, in rural areas, you name
it; even in posh residential areas.
is now common in Gulshan-Baridhara areas to be asked not to
park your car on the side of a road. The uniformed darwan
of the adjacent elite force, oops plot is sure to approach
you and tell that it is forbidden to park there. If you are
a weakling you drive away. If you are normal you ask him why,
he says sir has told him so, you switch off the engine, he
watches, you get down from the car, he watches, you walk away
to attend your business, he watches. That is why he is the
situation has become so outrageous, despicable, ridiculous
and alarming in these areas that insatiable plot owners have
grabbed the six-seven feet of land between the road and the
boundary wall, and put up a handsome (sugar-coated) grille
of brass or stainless steel or wrought iron, as if that patch
of land is his (or her) baaper shompotti. The plot
owners have even started gardening illegally on the designated
footpaths. As a result pedestrians are forced on to the narrowed
down vehicular road. That patch of open land belongs to the
people, the public, the pedestrians, and NOT to the plot owners.
are small patches of land but cumulatively they make a whole
lot of difference to the overall ambience and working of a
residential area. These footpath grabbers are no less guilty
than the big time land grabbers. Their greed is turning this
city into a large slum. There is one more glowing factor common
among the two groups of burglars: they do not live in the
(R) thedailystar.net 2005