Ditch on Hill-Top
Realtor fined, made to fill the area
The Department of Environment yesterday fined an owner of a private housing company Tk10.68 lakh for cutting a hill and destroying local ecology in Khadimpara area of Sylhet Sadar.
An enforcement team led by Muhammad Munir Chowdhury, director (enforcement) of DoE, penalised the Managing Director of Shalimar Housing Ltd, Md Alamgir Hossain and allowed him five days to fill the pond-like ditch he dug on top of the hill, noted a DoE release.
The team also made the company start filling up the ditch and plant 100 saplings of valuable timber trees around it within an hour.
Alamgir was kept handcuffed at the site for two hours during the drive, adds our Sylhet correspondent.
He made an undertaking to fill the ditch up by next Saturday and plant 100 more saplings and also committed not to cut hills in future.
The company had recently cut the Moloy Tila (hill) causing serious damages to trees and local ecology, Munir Chowdhury told The Daily Star.
According to the release, the team realised half of the monetary penalty in cash and ordered Alamgir to fill up the ditch with the rest of the amount within next five days and plant 100 more trees.
It was the first incident of punishing an offender on charge of cutting hills in Sylhet region, added the release.
Reckless hill-cutting would bring about environmental disaster in the region unless it is stopped, Munir Chowdhury told the local people and land owners present there. He sought cooperation from all quarters in combating the crime.
He mentioned a temporary permission given earlier for dressing a hill at Bolder Hajir Tilla by the environment directorate would soon be cancelled as they cut hills abusing the permission.
The enforcement team later spotted massive hill-cutting incidents at places in Antgaon and Jonaki Baluchar areas and asked officials including the upazila nirbahi officer to identify the offenders and file a report by today.
Md Zillur Rahman, DoE deputy director, and Enamul Habib, Sadar upazila nirbahi officer were present during the drive.
-With The Daily Star input