June 19, 2021, 3:29 pm
Aminul Islam, Sakhipur (Tangail) Representative:
Today (June 5) is World Environment Day. The environment is the bearer of life, the carrier of life force. From the beginning of creation, its existence has depended on the ability of animals to adapt to the environment. Destruction and extinction of organisms is inevitable if the environment is unfavorable. Depending on the environment, human, other plant and animal life develops. So there is a close connection between the environment and people. But due to various reasons, the problem of environmental pollution has become evident and human civilization is facing an extreme threat today. The key to human livelihoods and the environment is the conservation of forests, wildlife and forest lands in the face of adverse climate change. It has been alleged that 33 sawmills have been illegally set up in Sakhipur area of Tangail under the 11-bit area of three ranges of the forest department in collaboration with the forest officials. These mills have been set up in protected shawls and social forestry, near forests and even near the offices of forest officials.
The owners of the sawmills of the municipality complained that even though there is no provision to set up sawmills within 10 km of the forest area, the forest trees including shawls and carrots are being cut freely day and night in collaboration with the local forest officials. According to the Forest Department’s list, out of 33 illegal sawmills, 18 are in Beheratail range, 11 in Hatia range and 4 in Bamboo oil range.
On the spot on Friday (June 4) afternoon, it was seen that Hurmuz Ali and Farid Hossain had set up another sawmill just 100 yards from the office of Kalidas Bit Officer. “The owners of these sawmills are far from masohara, they don’t even greet us,” said Kalidas Beat. Jinnat Ali, president of the Sakhipur Municipality Legal Saw-Mill Owners’ Association, said illegal sawmills are being used to manage government forest people and cut down government forest trees.
Sakhipur Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) and Upazila Forestry Committee President Chitra Shikari said an operation would be launched soon to eradicate illegal sawmills. Beheratail Range Officer Hussain Muhammad Ershad and Hatia Range Alal Khan Officer admitted that there were 33 sawmills illegally in three ranges in the forest area and said that a list for eviction has been prepared and sent to the Divisional Forest Officer’s office.
Tangail Divisional Forest Officer Dr Zahirul Islam said on his mobile phone that a task force would be formed to eradicate the illegal sawmills and an eviction drive would be launched soon.