Home Bangladesh 120 hills wiped out from Ctg in 40-yrs
Bangladesh - January 30, 2023

120 hills wiped out from Ctg in 40-yrs

Admin blind under power of powerful

Ayub Ali, Ctg: Four decades ago, there were 200 hills in Chittagong, of which 60 percent, i.e. 120, have already disappeared, Chittagong University Forest and Environmental Science Department Professor Dr.Khaled Mesbahuzzamanhas emerged the information in a study.
In his research, he has shown that there is no alternative for the District Administration, Environment Department, CDA, City Corporation to work together with a specific plan to protect the existing hills in Chittagong. Mountains are like poles of natural balance on earth, resisting natural disasters as well as reservoirs of fresh water for people and biodiversity.
If the mountains continue to be destroyed, Chittagong metropolis will become a hinterland with no option to filter the heat generated by the growing brick-concrete, the temperature in the city will rise significantly. As much as people are benefiting financially by cutting mountains and building residential or commercial buildings, the amount of natural damage is much more than that.
After 129 people died in a landslide in 2007, no initiative was taken to implement the recommendations of the powerful Hill Protection Committee. In 2012, the High Court gave a specific verdict in the case filed by Bela in Pahar Raksha.
The judgment also directed action against the mountain cutters under the Environment Act, as well as demolition of structures built on the hill. But the local administration did not implement the order of the High Court.
Why not stop cutting?
Sharif Chauhan, Chittagong divisional president of People’s Voice, an organization that works on mountain and environment protection said, “The reason behind the non-stopping of hill cutting in Chittagong is that there is a huge amount of trade here.” The leaders of the ruling party are always associated with this trade. Some local public representatives are also with it. Another reason is that no effective action has been taken so far against those who are cutting or occupying the hills. Because those who are associated with it are always out of reach. Political consensus is needed to stop mountain cutting here. The initiatives of the administration should be increased.
Administration blind
Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), went there after hearing the news of Gog cutting the hill and filling the canal. Then his convoy was attacked by a local ward councilor has been accused of leading the attack.
After that, Rizwana Hasan became the plaintiff and filed a case against the councilor of the city’s Akbar Shah police station. Although a case was registered on Thursday night, no one was arrested till Friday evening.
Syeda Rizwana Hasan while describing the incident told the media that basically I went to inspect the ground for illegal hill cutting and filling of ink holes and construction of structures. At this time, a group led by local councilor Jasim talked to us. Why did we go there, where did we come from?
Aliur said, we did not go down the hill after seeing their attack preparations. Later we changed route to Bayezid Link Road in front of Suri Bagan Gauchia Hotel near No. 5 Bridge. At this time, we were asked to turn the car and come to Bayezid Link Road.
They stopped the vehicle at the main gate of Lake City Residence on its way and took it at gunpoint to the resident’s office. Then Rizwana called Akbar Shah police station and a team came and recovered the car. When we got into the car after the rescue, the councilor’s men threw stones. It damages the car.
SyedaRizwana Hasan said, “When we visited after receiving information from the local people, the local councilor ZahurulAlam Jasim himself came to the spot.” Our local people said that the councilor himself is cutting the mountains and filling the ink holes. There he is plotting and selling.
Locals are unable to say anything to the councilor because he is powerful. Not only the local people told us, the Environment Department of the government investigated and filed a local case against the councilor. Unfortunately for us, such cases are supposed to be disposed of quickly, but they are not. The councilor was supposed to be brought under interrogation, that did not happen either.
Our car was stopped by the councillor’s men They had native weapons in their hands. After calling the police station, a group of policemen came and rescued the car and the driver. At this time the councilor tried to talk to me through various means. But I didn’t speak. Later, while we were getting into the car, the councilor’s men attacked us.
However, councilor ZahurulAlam Jasim denied the attack. He said, their ink is supposed to go. But the people who were with them mistakenly brought them to my farm. They went about their work. No attack occurred; I was sitting in the farm office at the time of the incident.
There are 16 CCTVs. It will be understood by watching their footage. The allegations against me are not correct. I also demand an investigation into this incident.
Regarding the incident, Waliuddin Akbar, OC of Akbar Shah Police Station, said, “We have accepted the statement submitted by SyedaRizwana Hasan Police Station as a case. Those named there could not go through the arrest process due to lack of full identity Now the investigation is going on, action will be taken soon.

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