The Bangladesh Government-issued letters regarding the rent of the birdhouse to the gardeners
By Amila Khan
The garden owners have received a letter of rent for the bird’s nest in Khord Bausa village of Bagha Upazila of Rajshahi. These letters were issued from the Government of Bangladesh to the garden owners as rent for Snail- eating birds living in their Mango Gardens.
It is known that Deepak Kumar Chakraborty, Deputy Secretary, Forest-2 Branch, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, in a letter signed on November 1, 2020, directed to pay compensation for bird nets to the mango gardeners. Accordingly, five owners of 38 mango trees have been given a letter from the forest department to pay Tk.3,13,000.00 annually.
As mentioned in the letter, the mango orchard’s Snail-eating birds have been there for the last three years. Due to natural causes or any time, the bird can leave that place and move to another new place. Therefore, further action will be taken in this regard keeping in view the next few years.
However, no compensation will be given in the year when the birds do not settle down.
The garden owners who are getting compensation are Munjurul Haque Mukul, Sanar Uddin, Shahadat Hossain, Shafiqul Islam Mukut and Faruk Hossain.
Garden owner Shafiqul Islam Mukut said, “I have received a letter of permission from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.” The owners have claimed that the birds have been coming to the garden for the last 3 years. If the owners get the money for the previous two years, the loss will be compensated a lot.
They demanded regular care so that the trees are not damaged. This is a great initiative of the government of Bangladesh in bird protection. “I thank the government for arranging such a project for the garden owners,” said Mukul.
Another garden owner, Shahadat Hossain, said that although there was no history in breeding these birds, breeding was possible because the village of Khord Bausa was next to the canal-marshy. But while tending the garden, the mango trader broke the bird’s nest by cutting some mango branches.
As a result, thousands of snail-eating birds became under threat. If some local bird-lovers didn’t interrupt, the mango orchard owners tie them up for 15 days.
When this news was published in various media, RAB (Rapid Action Battalion, Bangladesh) stood by the bird protection.
Supreme Court lawyer Pragya Parmita Roy filed a writ petition in the court seeking a bird sanctuary declaration. Later, Bangladesh’s High Court directed that the bird’s nest could not be demolished.
Besides, the High Court directed the Deputy Commissioner and the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (Local Administrator) to submit a report seeking the amount of damage.
He then surveyed the loss of mango orchards and reported the amount of damage.
Upazila Agriculture Officer Shafiullah Sultan said 36 mango trees have bird nests. The mango tree’s potential price and the cost of maintenance are determined, and the amount of damage is reported. According to that, the garden owners have received the letter of money.
Ahmed Niyamur Rahman, Divisional Forest Officer, Social Forest Department, Rajshahi, said instructions were coming from the Chief Forest Conservation (CCF) officer’s office in the wake of the ministry’s letter. The money check will be handed over if permission is given in that direction.
Meanwhile, Rafiqul Islam, Shahadat Hossain, Bichhad Ali, Nasim Anjum, Saiful Islam, and other Khord Bausa village villagers have been keeping birds under guard for the last four years.