Unabated hill-cutting going on at night
UKHIYA, COX'S BAZAR, Sept 15: Unabated hill-cutting is going on in Jalia Palong area of Ukhia Upazila in the district.
Eyewitnesses said hills are being cut one after another in a festive mood at night.
Breaking all previous records, at least 20 vast hills were cut in the last one month.
Managing a section of unscrupulous forest officers, land-grabbing syndicate is trafficking earth from hills by dumpers in the dark of night, locals and villagers complained.
A visit found a practical competition of hill-cutting in Jummapara and Sonaimuri areas under Jalia Palong Forest Beat of Inani Range in Ukhiya Upazila.
Locals said identified syndicate of Jummapara is engaged in lifting hill earth. They possess numerous dumpers.
According to the allegation, Jalia Palong Beat Officer Arzu Mia is cutting hills in a free style managing forest guards and the headmen.
Contacted, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Cox's Bazaar South Forest Department Md Humayun Kabir said, step has been taken to stop hill-cutting and trafficking.
Locals said, the hill-cutting continues freely and publicly from 10pm till 6am every day. The cut-earth is supplied to different areas by dumpers.
Sources concerned said Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Mohammad Nikaruzzaman Chowdhury and Assistant Commissioner (Land) seized earth-laden dumpers and fined and jailed arrested traffickers in several mobile drives. But despite that, they could not be stopped.
According to reliable sources, developing Coat Bazaar Bhalukia Road and Yusuf Ali Road is going on at Tk 11 crore. Hill earths are being used in these works instead of sands.
Contacted, Inani Range's Officer Mohammad Ibrahim Hossain said, on information of hill-cutting, they conduct drive and took legal measures against the involved.