As the winter season approaches, a vested quarter of money mongers have started rampant cutting of
hills at 13 different areas of
Ghatail, kalihati and Sakhipur upazilas of Tangail, putting severe threat to ecological balance of the region.
It has been alleged that a section of illegal soil traders under direct patronage of local influentials are cutting the hills taking verbal consent of district forest officials, creating apprehension among the local people of a severe landslide in hills during the rainy season.
Commenting on the allegation, district forest department’s Baharatoil range officer Md Alal Khan told the Bangladesh Post: “I have been posted here very recently. I have heard that soil is being sold cutting privately-owned lands situated beside the department’s property.”
“I would take necessary actions after investigating the alklegation personally visiting the spots,” he added. Contacted, executive officer of Sakhipur upazila said, “I am not informed about the issue.” He also assured of adequate measure after proper investigation.
Like the upazila boss, Mostari Quader, additional deputy commissioner (revenue) of Tangail,
also said that she is not informed about the allegation, adding
that she wouold take adequate measure after consulting the related UNOs. It has been known that red-soiled hills are being devoured by greedy money mongers at Deopara, Tegfurichala, Chelutia and Ghoramara areas under Ghatail upazila; Maricha area under kalihati; and Sapiarchala, bagerbari, Gorbari, Boheratoil, Arangchala, Amtoil, Amgachchala and Gilachala areas under Sakhipur upazila.
During spot visit at a number of above mentioned places it was revealed that the miscreants are taking away truckloads of soil cutting the hills, in order to feed the local brick clins. Locals alleged that although a few number of trucks can be seen during the day, more that 100 trucks get involved after 8:00pm transporting the soil of illegally cut hills.
On condition of anonimnity, several locals named the persons involved in the illgal soil trading. They alleged that Deopara’s UP member kamal Hossain, Baruipara’s Quamrul, and Shiblu from Singna village under Kalihati are cutting hills at Deopara, Tegurichala and Chelutia areas under Ghatail upazila.
Several illegal soil traders told the Bangladesh Post on condition of anonymity that they are carrying out the illegal business after taking verbal consent of beat and range officials of the forest department and assistant land officials of different unions.
Claiming that they have to pay the local politicians every now and then, they frustratedly said end of the
day, what is left at our hand after paying government officials is the amount equal to the earning of a day labourer.