Dhaka, Bangladesh
Hills must be protected

Hills must be protected

Bangladesh forestry industry Development Corporation (BFIDC) has razed 1.5km stretch of hills to make access for a proposed rubber plantation at Raozan upazila of Chattogram recently. This was revealed by a report run by a national daily (June 1). But the BFIDC itself is a government organization under ministry of forest, environment and climate change. The BFIDC cut the hills at kodolpur union of the upazila without prior permission of the Department of environment (DOE). There used to be hills along 1.5km stretch of the 1.8km road. The road used to be a foot trail running through many small and large hills. They razed the hills to turn the trail into a road to get access to the rubber plantation. The razed area is not less than 24,796 square feet and no approval was sought for it. However, the DOE served a notice and necessary steps will be taken after a hearing, it is learnt. Another report says that destruction of a hillock is going unnoticed in jury upazila of Moulvibazer. A contractor firm razed a large part of the hillock to build a 960- meter-long road. The damaged side of the hillock has already subsided following rain a few weeks back and the locals fear the possibility of casualty if the rest of the hillock subsides during the monsoon season. Landslides are rising due to unabated destruction of hills and people feel the necessity of stringent enforcement of laws to save the environment. According to report, a section of influential people has been illegally extracting stones and destroying hill. Hill cutting continues under the very nose of the local administration despite the hazardous fallout of death traps of environmental disasters. A large number of hills disappeared in the last thirty years because of chain-syndicate of influential people. We witnessed a lot of accidents in the past due to hill-cutting which left a serious impact on the ecology. It has been proved that nature cannot be commanded and vengeance on it is followed by retaliation which plays havoc. So, it is conforming to reason to live with nature without disturbing it. Hill-cutting seems to be a contradiction par excellence to build roads when the green movement is being given the high accent to protect environment. Building roads by cutting hills has created considerable concern among green groups as they maintain that such acts will destroy the ecological balance. The hilly terrain is enveloped by dense forest and depletion of it will take a heavy toll on environment. Despite the fact that hill-cutting is banned, it goes on without action as the law enforcement shows its looseness. The authorities concerned should remember that hills must be protected as eco-system cannot be disrupted or destroyed in any way.

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