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High Court Rules to Protect Hills, Hillocks, Deforestation and Protection of Beaches

The High Court has ruled in the Upazilas of Cox’s Bazar area to prevent the cutting of hills, hillock, and forests. The High Court bench of Justice M. Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman issued the rule on Monday.

Rules have been asked why the Cox’s Bazar Sadar, Maheshkhali, Teknaf, Ramu, Chokoria, Ukhiya, and Pekua Upazilas will not be ordered to prevent any change, conversion, erosion or destruction. It has been asked why the removal of pollutants, illegal and unauthorized installations or infrastructure in the prohibited areas and protected areas of the beach have not been asked. The rule also asked why the defendants would not be declared as a failure in both cases.

Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) made this writ last week in the interest of the public. Advocate Minhajul Haque Chowdhury and Advocate Syed Ahmed Kabir were present in the court’s favor. Deputy attorney general Amit Talukdar was in favor of the state.

The Rule also wanted to know why it would not be instructed to ensure environmental clearance and sewerage plant (CTP) for commercial establishments including hotels, motels, restaurants, markets in the Cox’s Bazar municipal area and urges to take urgent action on waste plastic and municipal waste management on the beach.

Apart from this, it will be asked in the rule why the ‘One-Time Plastics’ are not prohibited in the development of 120 km of beaches, 300 meters of tree-lined vegetation and 500 meters of protected areas and Cox’s Bazar and beach development plans, from Nazirratech to Badar Mokam of Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar municipality.

The cabinet secretary, environment secretary, aviation and tourism secretary, housing and public works secretary, public administration secretary and water resources secretary have been asked to respond to that rule.

Speaking about the rule, lawyer Syed Ahmed Kabir told Prothom Alo, in 1999 the government declared the area as a neighboring endangered area for the protection of life, livelihoods, clean water, and the environment in the 10465 hectares from Cox’s Bazar beach to Teknaf beach. As a result, no infrastructure can be built in this area. It has been decided to construct a ten-storied building under the Circuit House construction project at Labani Point in the neighboring area.

Apart from this, no construction can be started in the No Development Zone. But construction is underway in these areas too. In the seven Upazilas of Cox’s Bazar, the hill, hill forest and hill mound are being constructed. For this reason, the balance of the environment is being wiped out – the writ is made in these arguments.

Source: Prothom Alo.

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