NRCC chairman who castigates high-ups relieved

Manjur Ahmed Chowdhury

The government has relieved National River Conservation Commission chairman Manjur Ahmed Chowdhury around one and half years before expiry of his tenure.

The public administration in a notification on Wednesday said the remaining tenure of contractual appointment of the NRCC chairman has been suspended in the public interest.

Public administration ministry sources said Manjur Ahmed Chowdhury was appointed chairman of the NRCC for three years on 22 February in 2022.

He joined the post on 27 February that year. His tenure was supposed to end on 27 February in 2025, but now the government has suspended his contract around one and half years before the date.

Manjur Chowdhury hogged the headlines on different occasions for speaking against the river encroachers.

At an event marking national river day on 24 September, he criticized the education minister Dipu Moni without mentioning her name.

He said a female minister from Chandpur is connected to individuals engaged in unauthorised sand extraction from the Meghna river.

Manjur Ahmed said a renewed effort to extract sand from the Meghna river has been launched which will harm the river, fish, and surrounding ecosystem.

Asked about the government’s decision, Manjur Ahmed Chowdhury told Prothom Alo that he does not know anything about the decision.

"The people will decide how honestly I worked to save the rivers of the country," he added.

He refused to make any comment when asked if his contract was suspended for criticizing the influential people of the government.

Manjur Ahmed Chowdhury is the chairman of Center for Governance Studies (CGS). He told Prothom Alo that he would work for CGS from now on.

Earlier in 2022, Manjur said he wants the Dhaka north mayor Atiqul Islam and Dhaka WASA managing director Taqsem A Khan to land in jail because they failed to check the dumping of untreated waste into Dhaka rivers.

“We will place the WASA MD and north city corporation mayor before a mobile court. We want them to be awarded six months in jail and fined Tk 400,000,” he said.

He also criticised other influential persons on different occasions.