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11:30 am | July 13, 2024
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the hills of coxs bazar are cut illegally
Aivee Akther Environmental crime

The hills of Cox’s Bazar are cut illegally

The hills of Cox’s Bazar are cut illegally


Destroying hills is prohibited in some areas adjacent to Cox’s Bazar beach. There is also a ban of the high court in this regard.

However, in violation of this ban, Kalatali, Adarshagram, Saikatpara, Lighthouse Hills, Radar Station Hills, T&T Hills, and Chandrima Hills have been demolished, and houses have been built.

With the recent onset of storms and rains, deforestation activities have increased significantly. Many are again making plots in the dark of night by leveling the hilly areas.

However, the concerned department has no visible activity to stop deforestation, including the environment department.

Ten to fifteen workers are cutting the hill with pickaxes and spades in the Ghona hill of Joynal in Kalatali Adarshagram adjacent to the beach.

In addition, some people are loading carts and removing the soil. Some people build tin and bamboo settlements by cutting the hills and leveling them in a few more places.

One worker, who did not want to be named, said, “The hill cutting has been going on for 10-12 days. Simultaneously houses construction works are ongoing.

It is convenient to cut the hill when it starts raining. Because the soil of the hill falls quickly in the rainwater, this saves labor costs in the hills. Some workers said that many people are cutting down the hill at night to avoid the administration’s attention.”

Rashedul Majid, chief executive of the voluntary organization Environment People’s, said, “At least 2 hectares of government hill in Adarshagram (Ideal village- built for the Government for homeless peoples) had cleared in two or three weeks.

At that time, demolished more than 50 illegal installations. An organized clique led by Sultan Mohammad, president of the district administration’s fourth-class employees’ association, and Mohammad Yasin, a civil surgeon’s office employee, led the way.

More than 50 Rohingyas have been employed as laborers to cut down the hills. He claimed that this circle was making plots of flat land by cutting down hills and selling them at inflated prices.”

Sultan Mohammad, president of the employees’ union, claimed he was not involved in the sale of hilly land. He is in dispute with some people over the election of the fourth-class employees’ association of the district administration. Probably they are spreading propaganda.

A team from the Department of Environment led by Zillur Rahman, Assistant commissioner of Cox’s Bazar Sadar Upazila, conducted an expedition to Adarshagram hill on May 8 (2022).

During that operation, demolished some temporary installations (houses) and seized some hill-cutting materials and soil carts. However, no one has arrested at the time.

In this context, Zillur Rahman, Assistant Commissioner, said that “A joint operation commenced after receiving the news of cutting down the hill.

No one could apprehend as the people involved fled, including the hill-cutting workers. Legal action will take by identifying those involved in the incident.”

Ayashur Rahman, president of the environmental organization ‘Cox’s Bazar Bachao Andolan,’ said, “Besides 10-12 hills in the city, landslides are going on in Teknaf, Ukhia, Ramu, Khurushkul of Sadar, PMkhali, and Chakaria of the district.

When storms and rains start, the landslides increase several times. This is destroying biodiversity as well as increasing the risk of landslides.”

In this context, Md Nazmul Huda, Deputy Director of the Department of Environment at Cox’s Bazar, said, “The Department of Environment’s campaign to stop deforestation continues.

There have been four or five raids in the last few days. There have also been cases against several people. However, for various reasons, it could not stop the hill cutting.

It is not possible to reach the spot if the hill is cut in a hostile environment or in remote areas at night. Because it is difficult to get up and down the hill of the incident site on foot, there are also safety risks.”

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