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Illegal hill cutting goes on unabated

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Chittagong Bureau :
Illegal hill cutting is rampant in Chittagong and adjoining areas. The rampant hill cutting in the port city is the prime cause of the landslide here. In the winter and dry season, the dishonest people used to cut the hills for collecting soil and levelling 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 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 Haji Muhammad Mohoshin Ciollege 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 port city.
The incidents of the landslide were occurred in almost every year in Chittagong. Despite 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 government officials.
 Of them, the most powerful ones are the local 'mastaans' and influential political quarters from behind the scene, 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 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 Bazar is at high risk.   On the other hand, hill cutting is continuing at Banderban. The dishonest people also cut the trees and stole mud of hills from Banderban.
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 said earths were supplied by the hill cutters from Banderban.  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 now.  It is reported that the workers are collecting for building the  housing society and brick fields including MBM Brick Fields Limited and Sonali Brick Fields Limited. The housing society and brick fields are owned by local Awami League leader Ehsanul Hydre Babul.
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 established at the adjoining areas of the Foy's lake which also hamper environment. 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.
Abdul Mannan, a local 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 with in last two years for developing the area," he added.  Landslide is one of the prime problems in port city. Huge incidents of landslide occurred every year during rainy season. The people, who lived at the hillside, are passing their days at  high risk due to probability of landslide.

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