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Ban on felling trees in reserve forests to continue

Cabinet gives go-ahead to a proposal

Published : 31 Oct 2022 10:26 PM | Updated : 01 Nov 2022 04:36 PM

The Cabinet Monday approved a proposal to continue the ban on cutting trees in the reserved and natural forests until 2030 aiming to protect the country’s biodiversity.

The approval came from the regular cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office in the capital.

“Trees in the reserved forests can no way be cut until 2030. But trees in social forests can be cut,” Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam while briefing reporters at the Bangladesh Secretariat.

The Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry placed the proposal in the meeting.

As per the previous decision taken by the cabinet in August, 2016, there is a ban on cutting trees in in the country’s reserved and natural forests till 2022.

The Cabinet also approved the draft of the National Adaptation Plan (2023-2030) in order to cope up with the adversities of the climate change.

Besides, the meeting gave the final approval to the draft of the Essential Services Act, 2022 merging the two old laws – the Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1952 and the Essential Services (Second) Ordinance, 1958.

“Since the existing laws are old ones. The proposed law was placed (by the Labour and Employment Ministry) aiming to have a modernized and time-befitting law in this regard,” said the Cabinet Secretary.

The Cabinet approved the draft of the Balumohal (sand quarry) and Soil Management (Amendment) Act, 2022 to stop the indiscriminate sand-lifting by.

“As per the draft, the Balumohal can’t be leased out for more than one year,” said Anwarul Islam, adding that the maximum punishment for grievous offense is two-year imprisonment, Taka 10 lakh as fine or both under the law.

He said now the Deputy Commissioner and the Land Ministry will have to take requisition from either the Water Development Board (WDB) or the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) for every Balumohal.

Then the WDB or BIWTA will conduct a digital survey to fix where and how much sand can be lifted, he added.

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