Saturday, October 21, 2017 | ePaper

Hill cutting main cause of landslide

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A Correspondent :
Illegal hill cutting is main cause of landslide and it is still  going on in Chittagong and adjoining areas  according to sources.
During winter and dry season, the dishonest people used to cut the hills for collecting soil and leveling the land for construction works, sources concerned said.  Some dishonest people of seven categories including political influential, local goons and administrative persons are involved like a chained syndicate in the rampant hill cutting in the port city resulting in serious ecological imbalance and environmental disaster.
Muhammed Idris Ali, professor of Chemistry department of Chittagong College and environment activist said, over one hundred hills have been disappeared completely in last 30 years and nearly one hundred innocent people died in landslides caused mainly for the insensible hill cutting in the port city.
The incidents of the landslide were occurred in almost every year in Chittagong. Despite of the law of the government against hill cutting in Chittagong most of the hills are already been cut during last several years. The worst suffering areas to the unabated hill cutting are Khulshi, Panchlaish, Sholoshahar, Baizid Bostami, Foy's Lake, Lalkhan Bazar, Oxygen Intersection and Polytechnic area, sources said.
The seven category people who had responsible for catastrophe to the hills are local terrors and touts, influential political men, truck owners, contractors, brick kiln owners, real estate developers and some concerned government officials. Of them, the most powerful ones are the local 'mastaans' and influential political quarters from behind the seen, sources said.
According to the experts, rampant hill cutting in dry season is the prime cause of landslide in rainy season. Hill cutting has been continuing unabated in the Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and Banderban. Despite prohibition on hill cutting in order to protect environment, a gang of dishonest people is engaged in cutting the hills in collusion with some corrupt public officials, concerned sources said.
Sources added, some land grabbers occupied the hills at Cox's Bazar and cut these rampantly. They also cut the trees on the hills. They are building establishments by cutting hills illegally in Cox's Bazar now. As a result, the embankment of Bay of Bengal in Cox's Bazra is in high risk.  
On the other hand, hill cutting is continuing at Bandarban. The dishonest people also cut the trees and stole the soil of hills from Bandarban. The hill cutters sold the soil  of hills of Bandarban in Chittagong and other districts for leveling the lowlands.
There are huge demands of the earth of hills to the developer companies in the city areas of many districts. They bought the earth of hills in low price and constructed the high rise buildings at the soft lands in low lying areas in Chittagong, Dhaka and other districts. The soil were supplied by the hill cutters from Bandarban.
Illegal hill cutting is rampant at rural areas in Chittagong recently. The influential quarters are cutting hills at Rubber Garden area and other hilly areas at Raojan in Chittagong. They are allegedly destroying a grave yard by cutting hills illegally.
 Our Raojan Correspondent  saw that men of influential quarters are cutting hills at Rubber Garden area. The men are cutting the grave yard area nearby the Rubber garden at Raojan.
Sources said, Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) and Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) took measures to shift the people from hill side in the city. CCC and CMP have conducted campaign during raining to shift the hill side people to a safe shelter. But, the hill side people are yet to be shifted.
According to sources, at least 50,000 people are living at the hill side at Lalkhan Bazar, Baizid Bostami, Roufabad, AK Khan Hills, Motijhorna, Shershah Colony and other hilly areas in high risk in the rainy season. Despite the government's measure, they did not leave the houses situated on the hill as they have no other shelters in the port city.
As a result, the risk of casualties of lives by landslide in the current rainy season is increasing dangerously. In spite of knowing the danger of landslide, around 50,000  people are still living in the perilous settlements at the pockets, peaks, flanks and slopes of hills at the port city and its adjoining areas.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Environment Forum demanded to save the lives of the people who are living at hill side and top in Chittagong.   Aliur Rahman, General Secretary of Bangladesh Environment Forum said many people are living on the hill side and hill top in Chittagong.
Denying the law of the government, the Bangladesh Bank hill at Goal Pahar area, Deayang hill at Anwara and other hills in the city were cut by the miscreants. The some dishonest people already cut the trees on the hills of Foy's lake. Moreover, some housing societies already been established at the adjoining areas of the Foy's lake which also hampered the environment there. The local people alleged that, many hills surrounded the Foy's lake are already been destroyed recently. Many of the lands also were occupied by the miscreants and local terrorists. Abul Hashem, a local dweller said, once upon a time, there were many monkeys at the jungle on the hills of Foy's lake area. Earlier, some dishonest persons and a syndicate named "Monkey Company" caught all the monkeys from the jungle and hills at the area. "Now huge trees already had been cut within last two years for developing the area," he added.
Landslide is one of the prime problems in the port city Chittagong. Many incidents of landslide occurred every year during rainy season. The people, who lived at the hillside, are passing their days in high risk due to probability of landslide in rainy season.

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