June 19, 2021, 3:38 pm
Sylhet Bureau: The cutting of hills in Jaintapur of Sylhet is not stopping at all. An influential clique is recklessly cutting down hills in different parts of the upazila without heeding the rules and regulations.
Houses are being built by cutting down the hills, roads are being renovated, Indian cattle market is being built. There is also a cycle of organized land grabbing for various purposes to fill up agricultural land. Meanwhile, the people are expressing their anger over the mysterious and silent role of the upazila administration and the thana police, even though the festival of cutting down these hills is going on in public. They complained that even though the administration was informed to cut down the hill, no operation was carried out. As a result, the cutting of hills and mountains is increasing day by day.
In the last few years, landslides in Sylhet have caused extensive damage, but the cutting of hills has not stopped. Unrestrained mountaineers have become more reckless. Intaz Ali, son of late Mushim Ali of Umanpur area and Nazmul Alam, son of Shamsul Islam of Shikar Khan area are cutting down the entire hill with invisible force in Shampur and adjoining Chiknagul Union of Fatehpur (Haripur) Union of Jaintapur Upazila in violation of Environmental Protection Act. Khaled Ahmed, son of Ahmed Ali alias Quli Ahmed of the area, Habib Ahmed, son of Abul Hasnat of Shikarkhan village, Helal Uddin, son of late Suna Miah of Upper Shampur village and a gang led by Alkach of the same area. Shamim Ahmed, son of Sunafar Ali of Panichhara village and Halim Ahmed, son of late Ahmed Ullah of Panichhara village have cut down a hill of about 4 acres in Panichhara area of Chiknagul union of Jaintapur upazila. What was the crime of 10-15 hills this year surrounded by trees and biodiversity. If the destruction of the mountains is not stopped, there will be a catastrophe in the environment. Incidents of loss of life and property due to landslides will increase. The administration is not stopping the activities of the mountaineers even with some initiatives. The Department of Environment has imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh for cutting down the hill. At the same time, instructions were given to stop cutting down the hills. Even after that instruction, the hill is being cut there.
Going to the ground, it can be seen that the entire top of the hill has been cut in several layers. Millions of cubic feet of soil have already been cut down. The work of cutting in half in one more layer is finished. These soils move to different areas.
The investigation has revealed that the hill is being cut in Jail No. 330 SA Khatian No. 36 SA Dag No. 144 (BS Dag No. 252) of Umanpur Mouza of Jaintapur Upazila. Besides, a huge hill is being cut in Duke on the opposite side of Chiknagul Panichhara M Ahmed School. 10-15 mounds are being cut including the house of Habib Ahmed, son of Abul Hasnat in Shikar Khan area. On the one hand, as Jaintapur is losing its beauty, agricultural land is decreasing day by day. Every day about 20 trucks are transporting the cut soil from the area. Thus, the area of hills and forests is getting smaller day by day due to deforestation. No one wants to protest this destructive activity for fear of local residents.
Locals further said that roads are being constructed with hilly soil in low-lying areas to transport Indian smuggled goods from the border. Haripur to Gachbari is taking the hill soil on the road. The influential clique is busy to take advantage of this opportunity. They are cutting down hills and mountains freely under the pretext of this work. When the locals repeatedly informed the Sylhet office of the Department of Environment and the office of the Upazila Assistant Commissioner VM, the operation was carried out but the cutting of the hill did not stop. Later we found out that they were released on the promise of not cutting down the hill with a small amount of money for mysterious reasons. When they return, the local police administration continues its misdeeds under the umbrella of some influential leaders.
In this regard, Upazila Nirbahi Officer Nusrat Ajmeri Haque told the reporter that cutting down hills is a completely illegal and environmentally destructive act. Even after our Upazila Assistant Commissioner conducts land expeditions, land grabbers cannot be suppressed. We will be tougher against the cutters and take legal action.